Friday, August 12, 2011

A Summer Rerun

The movie The Help opened this week. It is based on a book that I just loved. Little nervous about seeing the movie, but others have told me that it doesn't disappoint. In honor of the movie coming out, I thought I would repost my review of the book, first posted in April 2010. It's a summer rerun!

The Help, Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel, is one of those books where the characters stay with you long after you put the book down. The story of three ordinary, yet amazing women, in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s, The Help bring to light the life of two black women working as maids at the dawn of the civil rights movement.

Aibileen and Minny have stories to tell of what life is like for them, and Skeeter, one of the privileged young white women of the time who is trying to listen to those stories and write them down into a book all the while having her eyes opened to the cost of the life she has known. Taking on this project, this book that describes what life is like for a black maid in the Deep South, the chances they take and the consequences of it, you see how much was sacrificed to move us forward.

As these three women come together an incredible story comes out; a timeless story that transcends race, age and time…that we are all the same. We are all women with a heart, a mind, dreams, fears and joys.

Their stories are scattered among the chapters, each written in their own voice. Stockett’s ability to do that is so good, you feel as if the book truly were written by three different women.

While the book is sad at times, there is a triumphant feel to it. These women show a courage and a tenacity that is inspiring. In some ways it was reminiscent of A Thousand Splendid Suns by revealing how little really is different between us as women.

A favorite line from the book sums it up best: Wasn’t that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.

Pick this book up. You won’t regret it.

Note: Here is a link to film critic Roger Ebert's review of the film:


Rach said...

Loved this book!! Like you I am a little nervous about seeing the movie because it will never be as good as the book, but it has gotten good reviews. We should make it a girl's night out!!

Maureen said...

Kristin Hannah, a writer I greatly admire, said today "It's a triumphant day for readers and writers when a film lives up to the book." I really want to see it, and think a girls night out would be the perfect way to go!