Sunday, November 27, 2011

Review (sort of) of The Help by Kathryn Stockett

So I'm not going to do a full-fledged review of The Help because so many other people have reviewed it.  But let me just say that it definitely deserves all the hype it's gotten.  I ate this book up, I loved it so.

I LOVE the relationship between all the characters.  It feels so real.  Skeeter's friendship with Aibileen was so special, yet they were always on guard with each other because it wasn't exactly safe to let others see their friendship.  Basically, I came super close to crying at a lot of parts in this book.

The writing, also great.  I love how Stockett changes her writing style based on which character is narrating.  Each narrator has such a distinct personality, I think if I read a passage without being told who was narrating, I'd be able to say which character it was.  Stockett definitely has a way of making the reader feel what the characters are feeling.  For instance, when Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny are waiting and waiting for the town and Hillie to read and finish the book, I was also feeling the suspense. 

So basically, read it, because it is a powerful read that will stay with you for days after you've finished it.  Have you read it?  What did you think?

Some favorite quotes:
Page 73: "Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision."  Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums.  "You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?"
She kept her thumb pressed hard in my hand.  I nodded that I understood.  I was just smart enough to realize she meant white people.  And even though I still felt miserable, and knew that I was, most likely, ugly, it was the first time she ever talked to me like I was something besides my mother's white child.  All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl.  But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.

Page 303: There is undisguised hate for white women, there is inexplicable love.  Faye Bell, palsied and gray skinned, cannot remember her own age.  Her stories unfold like soft linen.  She remembers hiding in a steamer trunk with a little white girl while Yankee soldiers stomped through the house.  Twenty years ago, she held that same white girl, by then an old woman, in her arms while she died.  Each proclaimed their love as best friends.  Swore that death could not change this.  That color meant nothing.  The white woman's grandson still pays Faye Belle's rent.  When she's feeling strong, Faye Belle sometimes goes over and cleans up his kitchen.

Page 414: The Sun and Sand Bar is closed and I go by slow, stare at how dead the neon sign seems when it's turned off.  I coast past the tall Lamar Life building, through the yellow blinking streetlights.  It's only eight o'clock at night but everyone has gone to bed.  Everyone's asleep in this town in every way possible.

Title: The Help

Author: Kathryn Stockett
Date of Publication: 2009
Number of Pages: 544
Genre: Fiction
Source: Personal copy


  1. This was one of those over hyped books for me. I liked the story well enough, but not so much the writing style. It felt like it took me forever to read, even though I think it only took maybe 5 days. Plus I'm not really too big on the more modern historical period

  2. I gave Room a try despite the hype and I loved it -- so I might have to do that for this one!

  3. If you get a chance, listen to the audio version as well; that was how I experienced this book and the different narrators were incredible. I finished the audio (18 hours, I think) in a day and a half. Did nothing else but listen to this book and fell in love with it. The audio is amazing.

  4. I really need to read this one. I'm not sure I'll have time this year, but it does have me curious. I loved the movie! :-D