Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Help

I had the pleasure of reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett recently. As I’m sure you have heard, it’s an outstanding book—the type that keeps you up at night and is picked up first thing in the morning until it is finished.

It is a fascinating look into the not so distant past. Growing up in what I feel is an overall accepting community, it’s hard to process how one human can treat another in some of the violent ways that happened during the Civil Rights Movement.

At the same time, it is touching to see how close the household help could be with the children. Aibileen and Mae Mobley’s relationship is still something I think about every day. Her desire to make Mae Mobley feel worthy is moving.

One of my favorite phrases of the book is what Aibileen says to Mae Mobley and has her repeat back:

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

It’s something I find myself repeating.

The storytelling overall is exquisite. I am amazed by how personally connected I feel to the characters. They are real, flawed individuals. Yet despite these flaws, vulnerability comes through (even Miss Hilly!).

I love how the written word is what empowers the group of women. It brings them together and ultimately it separates them (to a certain extent), but it changes lives throughout that process.

I won’t say much more in case you haven’t read it. I can tell it’s going to be one of those books that will become a classic. Go to your local library or bookstore and pick up a copy. You’ll be glad you did.

I watched the movie too. It was a nice overview, but I’m one of those book purists. I think the depth of some of the relationships is missing.  I understand this is because of time, but I found that I didn’t feel the same intense connection to the characters as I did while reading the book. It was definitely still fun to see, though. I think you’ll agree that they cast Minny and Aibileen just right!

If you’ve read it, what did you think?


Allyson said...

I almost posted about this book the other day. I read it this summer, and I absolutely love it. On one level is was just an incredible read, but on so many other levels it resonated with me so deeply. Thanks for sharing!
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Holly- Cutie Pie Cottage said...

Hi, Sarah! I already saw the movie and now I have the book but I haven't read it yet. It's next on my list! Movies are fun for the visuals but nothing beats getting inside the character's heads in a book.

So glad you joined our swap! It will be fun!

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Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

I really enjoyed the book as well. (We did it in reading group.) But I didn't get to see the movie .... yet!

Little Susie Home Maker said...

Thanks for letting me know about this book. Sounds great.
Looks like your blog is doing great!

Christine said...

I will jump on the 'book purist' bandwagon with you!
LOVED the book. One of my all-time favorites. Read it on a 28 hour flight and could not put it down.

xo Christine

Lisa said...

Hi Sarah!
I am your swap partner at Holly's Dotty Swap. Welcome to blogging! It is great you will love it! Your blog is beautiful. I read The Help and then saw the movie. The movie is good if you like the book see it. It leaves a lot out so best to read it also. But still wonderful either way! I was lucky enough to find several books in a row a year ago I really loved. I have been looking for more but haven't found any really great ones yet!
Happy reading!
Hugs, Lisa
OH! email my your address so I can get you your swap!
pupylov at gmail dot com

Anna said...

This is the next book on my list to read! Can't wait!

Thanks for following!