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?