Last August I went to go see the movie The Help and I finally have read and finished the book. I know this will not come as a surprise but the book was much better than the movie. But I am sad to say if it wasn't for the movie I would not have read the book.
When I saw the movie I updated my Facebook status about seeing this movie and I learned that the movie had a back lash from the African American community because it glossed over the harsh realities of the Civil Rights movement. To read more of that post click here. The movie may have glossed over some of these facts but I thought the book did a good job of displaying some of these realities. But at the end of the book Kathryn Stockett writes a little a bit about her own life growing up in Jackson, Mississippi and the maid she had growing up. She also writes that she will never understand completely the plight of African American women who were maids back then but she writes that this book was to show women were not that separate but the same.
I like Kathryn Stockett cannot understand the true plight of what all these women went through back then. So I while I admired Aibileen and Minny I related to Skeeter. She is fresh out of college and wants to change the world. At first isn't sure what she wants to but then she finds her voice and the people she wants to help.
|Constantine and young Skeeter|
|Skeeter and her "friends"|
I don't want to give away any spoilers to the book for those who have not read the book or watched the movie. But it should be on your reading list. I could not end this book review with out mentioning the two strongest characters in the book Aibileen and Minny.
Aibileen has a quiet strength. She has spent her whole life doing what she is told to and silently she obeys. But she carries around the pain every day of having lost a son. Still she gets up every day to raise a little white girl a little girl who is not well loved by her mother. At first she doesn't believe she has a story to tell, then she doesn't want to risk telling her a story but she gains motivation to speak up and through telling her story she learns she has more of a voice than she ever thought.
Minny always had a sassy mouth. Which has gotten her into a lot of trouble over the years with both her employers and her husband, who is very abusive. However she has a deep dark secret that in the end protects the women of Jackson. She learns to let people behind her guarded shield and care for them.
Trailer for the The Help:
|Kathryn Stockett in The Help|