The Help by Kathryn Stockett: Review

Thursday, March 28, 2013

So, for this book, I guess I'll just post the summary from Goodreads and then my review!


The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Since I am posting my pre-review after I read the book, I'm just going to post the summary of this because I can't talk about how excited I am for this book after reading! :)

Synopsis:

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

And now for my review!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Rating: ***** stars! YAY!

Initial Reaction After Finishing This Book:


Give a hand for this book. It was BEAUTIFUL!!!! And thankfully, not as boring as most historical fiction. I honestly can't say that I didn't expect a lot from this book, because I DID! And it delivered! The reason I expected so much, is because this book is so POPULAR, and since I absolutely LOVED the movie. I know it's kind of stupid of me, because so many popular books I've read have fell flat, but not this book!

The Good:

1. The POV. I tend to gravitate towards books that are told from multiple perspectives, because that way I'm not just stuck in one person's head the entire time. This book was told by three perspectives: That of housemaids Minny and Aibileen, and of journalist Skeeter. My favorite perspective by far was that of Minny, only because my favorite character in this book was Celia Foote, and since Minny was Celia's maid, you read the most about her from Minny's perspective. But it was still interesting from Aibileen and Skeeter's perspective as well. The one thing I would change about the POV in this book, would be to add one more POV: that of Hilly Holbrook. Resident, um word I am not going to write, and anti-black idiot. This book was told from the perspective of people who are against segregation, so it feels a bit one-sided, and I would have liked to read from Hilly's POV. Also, I loved how Kathryn Stockett gave the writing a southern twang. Like the way words were phrased, and she also showed the accent in her writing.

2. The Plot. As I said before, a lot of the time, historical fiction can be boring as hell. This is how it feels reading a lot of historical fiction:

Today, I milked the cow and watered our garden. It is coming along nicely. No word from father or my brother. I am now peeling potatoes. What fun!

Like, yawn. But this book was not like that at all! It takes place in the 60s, and is about a white woman named Skeeter, who is against all the segregation happening around her in Mississippi. She wants to be an author, and she decides she wants to write about the real lives of black maids. It is dangerous, but she takes the risk. It has a really interesting plot! I don't want to give away too much about the plot so I won't say anything else :).

3. The characters. I know I said this already, but Celia. She was my absolute FAVORITE character in the entire book, probably because I LOVE eccentric characters, and that's exactly what Celia was! These characters were seriously brought to life by the author. The one thing that made me sad was I was unable to build my own picture of what the characters looked like because I watched the movie before I read the book, :(.

4. The ending. I loved the ending of this book. It was touching and powerful, and ultimately brought a smile to my face. It really seems like power is a common theme in this book. :)

The Bad:

1. I'm not sure... A lot of people have said that this book overly dramatizes cruelty or something like that, but I'm not sure so I'm not going to say anything about it.


So, this is basically a wonderful book!

To Read Or Not to Read?

READ. Just do it, No pressure. Just do it. Go on now. Read it. I said READ IT. :)





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