the help.

20 Sep

i just wrapped up reading one of the best fictional books that i’ve read in a long time, The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

set in jackson, mississippi during the early 1960s, The Help tells the life story of african american women working as maids for white households and one white girl who wants to understand the neglected side of the story. The Help is told through 3 points of view: the hard-headed, sassy, [& tormented] minnie, wise and nurturing aibleen who has seen a lifetime of hurt and suffering, and eugenia ‘skeeter’, a privileged recent college graduate who sees the need for change.

to say that i didn’t cry or hold back tears (in public places) countless times while reading this novel would be a lie. the compelling stories of love, loss, persecution, cruelty, compassion and human connection during the darkest of times weave in and out of every page. they force you to confront a time and place you didn’t know, couldn’t know, but now can now understand a little clearer.

the highlight of this novel, and what the characters come to see, can be found in this one line: “we are just two people. not that much separates us. not nearly as much as i’d thought.”

stockett puts it perfectly in the post-novel note:

i don’t presume to think that i know what it felt like to be a black woman in mississippi, especially in the 1960s. i don’t think it is something any white woman on the other end of a black woman’s paycheck could ever understand. but trying to understand is vital to our humanity.

The Help has been made into a film and is currently showing in theaters. watch the trailer below. i haven’t seen the movie yet, but it won’t be long.

have you read the book or seen the film? i’d love to hear your interpretations and reactions.

2 Responses to “the help.”

  1. Janet September 20, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    can i borrow the book please =)

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