Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dad's Book Club: The Help

In the tradition of Dad's greatness, he gave this book to me for Christmas, it having been recommended by JoAnn and Co. Historical Fiction is not usually my favorite, but this book masterfully portrayed vernacular speech (and attitude) and told a very engaging story (not to mention, one of the main characters does what I've always dreamed of doing—[and I was going to write it here, but realized that would spoil most of the book])

In a point-of-view-shifting first person account, I found myself intensely wrapped up in a part of history —and believe me, keeping my attention and interest on historical events is a Herculean feat, so well done, Kathryn Stockett! Instead of dryly discussing the events and feelings about desegregation in 1960's Jackson, Mississippi, Stockett places us in the shoes of Aibileen, Minny, and Miss Skeeter. Aibileen's motherly love for seventeen white babies (plus one boy of her own) that she raised gives strength to her resolve to...make the teacups stop rattling? Yes, that's right. And Minny, who has broken every rule of proper behavior to the white lady begins to discover that those very rules she thought forced upon her by the white ladies may only have force because of her own self-perception. Finally, Miss Skeeter...a true to life, true to herself lady out, at first, to make a name for herself decides that giving a voice to the voiceless (to use a cliché), may best be done anonymously.

Unfortunately, because of the subject matter, there are incidents of violence, hatred, and fear; nonetheless, Stockett handles them well—producing the desired disdain for the acts with minimal gore. I think even mom could handle it. :) What a beautiful piece of work! I was very moved and even found myself a little teary-eyed at the end. A must read for all adults in the family (but proceed with caution for younger readers). Excellent pick for Dad's Book Club!



At January 12, 2011 7:53 PM , Blogger Grant, Sarah, Edwin, and Leland said...

nice review, you should review books!

At January 13, 2011 11:11 AM , Blogger Brittany said...

I loved this book! I put it on my top 5 books I've read list. I heard the audiobook is really great because the reader does a great job with all of the voices. They are also in the process of filming the movie and I can't wait to see the characters brought to life.

At January 16, 2011 4:34 PM , Blogger Sarah S said...

This is a fabulous book!! I listened to the audiobook and LOVED it. The accents were wonderful and really drew you in to the story. I can't wait to see the movie too.

At January 18, 2011 5:42 PM , Blogger maren bosley said...

I just finished this book a couple of weeks ago and LOVED it as well! Living in the south now, all the characters and atmosphere seemed especially real to me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Danielle!

At January 19, 2011 7:48 PM , Blogger Camille said...

Yes, one of my favorite books of all time! The only way I can really read history is from a perspective like this. I just finished To Destroy You is No Loss which was extremely captivating, and a fabulous new murder mystery: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Loved it, and it's the first in a series, hurrah!


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