Monday, August 02, 2010

The Help - A Must Read

UPDATED BELOW

I recently joined a book club that my next door neighbor invited me to. I read so much and so often, that it's great to have people to discuss the books with. At the first meeting they mentioned the title of the book for the next month. I promptly downloaded it onto my Kindle while I sat there. The following week, as I began to read the book, I kept thinking to myself. "WHO picked this book?" "Why are we reading this book?". The plot involved some cell phone addicted New York guy who goes to Europe to help a childhood friend who's opening up a hotel in an old castle. There's some weird old lady in a tower watching them...........a big fountain full of pond scum and a terrible smell.........there's something creepy going on..........and then it goes downhill form there. Being new to the book club, I thought I'd just sit quietly at the next meeting and try to figure out why they picked "The Keep". Then Nicole (my neighbor) asked me how I was liking the book........I paused.........she said "I think The Help is good."

The Help??? Wait.........hold on a sec..........arrrrrrrg. I'm reading the wrong book.



The Help is one of best books I've read in a long time. It drew me in right from the first pages. The Help is set in the early Sixties in Jackson, Mississippi (don't I know someone from Jackson, Mississippi?). Each chapter is written from the perspective of one of three women. Two are black maids/nannies who work for white families. The third is Miss Skeeter, a young, unmarried white woman who's finding her way in life. She's friends with young married women who have kids and employ these black maids. The way the three come together is unexpected and in the end, triumphant. I hear this is Kathryn Stockett's first novel.........what a first effort. Junior Leagues, bridge clubs, and sandwiches with ice tea, she captured life in a southern town with vivid detail. I can't imagine this NOT being made into a movie. The thing I liked the best was the way Kathryn captured the dialect of the black maids in the chapters voiced by them.

"So I took that pink screaming baby in my arms. Bounced her on my hip to get the gas moving and it didn't take two minutes fore Baby Girl stopped her crying, got to smiling up at me like she do. But Miss Lefolt, she don't pick up her baby for the rest a the day. I seen plenty a womens get the baby blues after they done birthing. I reckon I thought that's what it was."

I strongly recommend this book, look forward to her next novel, and wait to see who they cast in the movie.

UPDATE: h/t to Tennessippi Dave.......they're filming this summer. The Help Movie

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