The Help by Kathryn Stockett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The big changes in our lives don’t happen the way we plan. The big changes happen in the little details. In the extra second it took for you to leave your house making you lose your bus; in the way the cashier talked to you; in the little kid that smiled at you from across the street. The big changes, the ones that really matter, arrive without warning and when you realize what happened it’s too late to stop it. When your eyes are open you can’t close them and forget what you’ve learned or seen. If you watched Constantine or Matrix, you know what I’m talking about.
The Plot — It’s revolutionary! Skeeter is a single girl living in Mississippi and wants to be a writer. Following the wise advice from a big shot editor, she comes up with the idea for writing a book showing the point of view of the help. At first you may think that this plot is not that exceptional, but you have to remember this was in the sixties, racism was in full force back then, and the place was Mississippi of all places. Black women, the ones that raised the white kids, cared for them and had to see them grow just to follow the same path as their racist parents.
You can see how that side of the story can be dangerous to be given voice in a society that accept the beating up of an old black man as punishment for using the white folks bathroom. When the price of your words is so high, a book full of them can become a death sentence. See? I told you this plot were revolutionary.
The Characters — OH—MY—GOSH! Ok, ok, I need to calm down *taking a deep breath* since this book is told by 3 of the most amazing women I have ever met, I’ll focus on them first.
She is the first one we meet in this story. Aibillen is starting her new job in a new house. She take care of kids and helps the white moms to take care of the hose and their children. Once the kid is grown she moves on to another family. This is her life and she was fairly fine with it until her own son dies. Her heart darkens and she is no longer so forgiven as once she was. Now she sees the things that she once pretended not to see, her lost has changed her.
In the Leefolt's house Aibileen takes care of little Mae Mobley.
Through her eyes we see changes happening and how appearances can be miss leading. Love runs deeper than blood or skin color. With Aibileen I'v learn that one word can change the destiny of a person. One word of encouragement can make a person believe in itself as much as a disproving one can destroy souls and crush dreams.
"You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important."
"Minny is "every Southern white woman's nightmare. I adore her."
She is wonderful and a kick ass maid. She cooks and bakes like no one, especially cakes, and have a fierce tongue on her snappy mouth. In everyone's eyes she is strong, tough and nobody messes with her. In reality, Minny is a cat that was burned too many times and learned to attack first and always be prepared for disappointments.
After some stuff she goes to work in Celia's house.
There she faces situations and choices that change her in a deep way. With her I've learn that a hard exterior can hide a heart of gold, and that open up can be scary but sometimes is worth it.
Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan
She is the black sheep among the white and fluffy ones. She comes home after finishing college and is trying to find Constantine, the black maid that raised her.
She is a member of the Bridge Club and is also the editor of their Journal where she writes about the social events and stuff like that. She gets a job in a local newspaper and is trying to get her dreams started but all her mom can think is how her daughter ain’t married yet. Talk about disappointment.
Remember what I’ve said in the beginning of this review? About how the big changes can sneak up on you? Well, this started with little signals, but the one that I took to my heart and made me change was the advice that Skeeter received after sending a letter to a publisher. It was something like: “Write about what disturbs you, particularly if it bothers no one else.”
How many times we see things that bother u, but is something that looks so normal to everybody else? Just because it’s done a long time doesn’t mean is right. After this you can start open you eyes as well, but be aware cose once you starts seeing you can’t go back to being blind.
So, sparks happens and Skeeter puts the chain of events in motion to what would be the biggest thing that ever happened in her life and many others.
All the other characters as amazing too and have a fundamental part in the whole story. Just like a puzzle where each of the little pieces is irreplaceable.
One in particular is:
Boogie man has a face, and a southern accent too. LoL She is the devil, but I can’t say I hate her. That’s just how she was raised, racist and mean to people. With her I’ve learned that even a terrible person like her can have a heart. Hilly is kind, sweet and loving with her kids. I can’t hate a person that can love that much even if she is evil. Because of her I knew I would love this book.
The Writing — Oh, the writing,,,, I love it, love it, love it,,,,,,,
Yep,, that’s pretty much what happened. LoL
So, the story is told mainly by three POVs, Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter. In the beginning I thought that it could be confusing, but this author played so well that I was in love with it.
The way she writes remind me of the book The Color Purple, in how the words have character and feelings in it. This is one of the most heartfelt and unique writing I have ever read.
The Audiobook Recording — Oh, the audiobook recording,, it’s enchanted *sigh*
It’s read by three different narrators, well, four actually, and this makes all the difference for me. Each one of them had its unique voice, way of speaking and that made them seem even more real.
The voice, the tone, the volume it was all great. The reading had a great flow to it and the audio was pleasant to my ears. The interpretation of the text was simply sublime.
Pay attention to these narrators cose these are keepers and one of them is in the movie:
Considerations — O laughed, I cried and I loved every minute of it.
My grandfather was raised in a farm long, long, long ago, and I remember his stories about the woman that raised him from crib. She was a black maid and he used to tell me how he never forgot her. When he got sick, he called her name during the fever. Some of the stories in this book made me remember this and how I never really understood what that meant till now.
Ok,I could talk about this book seven ways till Sunday, but this is getting too long and I don’t want this to get larger than the book, so I’m just gonna say: I LOVE THIS BOOK AND EVERYONE SHOULD READ IT!
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