Book Review: The Help

Welcome to "What Katie Thinks About Something or Another, Part III."

Seriously, review central, my blog has become.

Also, apparently channeling Yoda, I am.

Ok, that's gotta stop.

Anyway, I'm loving that I'm finally reading again. It's wonderful. If you don't read...please, please start reading.

And put this book on your "To Read" list:

Yep, I liked it.

Pretty much the only things I heard about it were positive, so I was expecting to like it...but then again, I don't like the "Twilight" books, and I hear a lot of positive things about those, too.

Although, that might just be because "Twilight" lovers are loud. I'm just sayin.

So, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.

It takes place in Mississippi in the early 1960s, so if that doesn't scream "THIS BOOK IS ABOUT CIVIL RIGHTS!" I don't know what does. And yes, it does focus largely on civil rights. The story is told from the viewpoints of three women: two black women who are employed by white women as "help," and one white woman who is a) desperate to be a writer, and b) questioning the way her white, married friends treat their "help." This white lady is thus inspired to write a book in which she anonymously interviews several different black maids about the experiences they've had serving white families.

There were a couple things I especially liked about this book:
  • Great voice(s). I could practically hear each character telling the story. In fact, sometimes I did hear the characters telling the story, since I read I good chunk of the book out loud to Madelyn. The book is written in such a way that if you read it out loud, you will have a southern black woman accent. Law, have mercy!
  • Got the Civil Rights message across without making me especially angry, upset, or heartbroken. Let's face it, that's not too easy to do. And it even talked about some of the positive relationships that some white women had with their maids, which was nice to hear.
  • Pretty darn funny in some parts. I might have lol-ed once or twice.
But my favorite thing about this book was that (almost) nothing went the way it was supposed to. If there was something that would be just terrible for so-and-so to hear about it, well, so-and-so heard about it. If one character was living in fear that such-and-such would happen, well, it did...

And the characters kept on living and trying and growing. I would say that probably one of the most important things any of us can learn is that life is not always going to go the way we want it to go. Sometimes the worst case scenarios - those things you just absolutely dread even thinking about - will actually happen, and you'll just have to live with them and find a way to keep finding happiness. Tough lesson, right? But I think it's very applicable to all of us.

So yeah, I totally recommend The Help. You'll like the story and love the characters.

I actually finished this one last week and am into my next one: Water for Elephants. Not loving it so far, but I'll let you know the end result.