by Kathryn Stockett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book! I usually mark my favorite passages and quote them in my review, but it would be simply ridiculous to tap out all 451 pages, now wouldn't it?
This book grabbed me right from the beginning and kept me turning pages long into the night. I'm really impressed with the writing style and the ease that the author takes us from one persons perspective to another throughout the entire story. I really felt that the characters all had a lot of depth to them, letting the reader either connect with a character or loathe them. Not being from the south myself, this isn't a lifestyle that I am familiar with, but Kathryn Stockett wrote the stories so that I feel as if I was there. She picked such a hard time in the south to set her story in. A time when racial tensions were running extremely high and horrible things were happening to both the blacks and the white "sympathizers". We meet Miss Skeeter, a young woman who was raised and loved by her family maid. Skeeter wants to find out what happened to the woman who raised her and she wants to make some changes that will make life easier for the black families in America. Being a writer, Skeeter sets off to interview as many maids as will talk to her, telling their stories about the hardships, and pleasures, they have found working for white families. Jackson, Mississippi is one of the most dangerous places at this time and Skeeter and the maid's that finally agree to talk to her for her book are in great danger everytime they meet. Emotions are high when the book finally goes to press. Will the people of their community read it? Will they know who the people in the stories represent, even though names have been changed? Was it worth the risk?
Okay - I'll do it. Here are two of my favorite passages-
Minny is one of the maids that Skeeter is interviewing. It took awhile to talk her into it, but she finally decided to do it. Skeeter has to be really careful with Minny, making sure that she doesn't scare her off. In this passage, Minny is talking to her friend Aibileen, who Sketter is interviewing as well.
'"Oh, fore I forget, Miss Skeeter wants to come over early Tuesday night," Aibileen says. "Bout seven. You make it then?"
"Lord," I say, getting irritated all over again. "What am I doing? I must be crazy, giving the sworn secrets a the colored race to a white lady."
"It's just Miss Skeeter, she ain't like the rest."
"Feel like I'm talking behind my own back," I say.
In this next passage, we are listening to Minnie again, after a tough run-in with her mean husband.
' "I guess I got to go," I say, even though I'd rather spend the rest of my life right here in Aibileen's cozy kitchen, having her explain the world to me. That's what I love about Aibileen, she can take the most complicated things in life and wrap them up so small and simple, they'll fit right in your pocket.'
If you haven't yet read "The Help", pick it up. You will be so glad that you did!