So I finished reading The Help well over a month ago, but haven’t yet had the opportunity to share my thoughts on the book you. I usually prefer to finish reading the book prior to seeing the movie, but I was unable to finish prior to going to BlogHer in San Diego where I was lucky enough to see an advanced screening and I actually posted my
If you read my review, you’ll know that I loved the movie. This is in no small part because I love the story. It is the story of Skeeter (Eugenia) Phelan who aspires to be a writer after graduating from Ole Miss. Much to her mother’s disappointment, she is not on the marriage and baby track as are all of her peers.
Skeeter sees injustice in how “colored folk” are treated and notices how poorly the maids in the area are treated and . In an attempt to effect change she thinks of writing a story from the perspective of “the help”. Such a thing has never been done, and given the climate in Jackson Mississippi in the 1960’s, puts those involved in a very dangerous situation. Skeeter hopes that somehow her book will be a catalyst for change.
In tandem with Skeeter’s story, we get the perspective of the help. We watch as they raise white babies only to have those white babies grow up to treat them poorly. We see the love that they have for these children and how once grown, the help has ‘outgrown its usefulness’.
I love the perpective from which the book is written. Admittedly, I got slightly confused at first since each chapter was narrated by a different character, but I caught on quickly enough.
The characters in this book come through so beautifully that you really feel like you know each one. You can almost predict what they will do next (except in the case of the horrible, terrible, awful thing…I couldn’t have seen that one coming, and I won’t spoil it for you, either).
Reading The Help makes us think about the ways in which society has changed, and some ways in which it has not. It reminds us of how unfathomable things can be going on across the world, or across a country and even though people know about it, life goes on as usual for so many. It makes us question how we can allow certain things to continue when we know they are happening. For many of us, this makes us uncomfortably aware of how the complacent bystander is somehow responsible for the repeated mistreatment of certain individuals or groups thereof.
Although there are parts of the story in the book that are somewhat different than they are in the movie, I still hold that the movie did an excellent job at portraying the characters as they were originally written.
For the same reasons that I recommended seeing the movie, I highly recommend reading the book.
Have you read The Help? What are your thoughts? Would you recommend it?
Wishing you a wonderful day with a few minutes to curl up with your latest read.