zondag 12 februari 2012

50 Books Challenge 2012 - # 7: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Story: 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.
Start: february 5th 2012
End: february 4 12th 2012
Comment: I always try to avoid it, but I went to see the movie before I read the book. As much as I loved the movie, I love the book just as much. In the 60's it was not done to befriend a black person when you were white. Although they said that they were equal, they weren't treated that way. Stockett has a good eye for creating interesting characters with developement. Because the book is told from three different perspectives - Skeeter, Aibeleen and Minny - you really get to know each one of them. And you come to love them all. Skeeter is a woman who thinks a little further than her friends who have marriage and children on their minds. She wants the world to see how those friend treat their help, from the point of view of the help. Aibeleen is the first one to tell her story to Skeeter. She is a good hearted woman, great with children and she has to deal with a lot every day. Aibeleen just lets it happen, keeps her emotions inside, but isn't happy in her life as a help. Minny is Aibeleens best friend and the complete opposite. She says what's on her mind and that got her fired more than once. Minny doesn't only have to deal with snobby housewives, she comes home to an abusive husband and their five kids every day. Those three women form a strong band and manage to tell their stories. Hilly Holbrook is one of the most horrible characters I've ever read about. Again very well created, but I wanted to slap her in the face. I did love Celia Foote, her naivity and how she saw Minny for who she was and not the color of her skin. It's a heartbreaking story, that made me cry once or twice. But it also brought some happy moments, moments of laughter. "The Help" is Kathryn Stockett's debut novel and far out perfect. Simply beautiful.
Rating: 5/ 5

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