Wednesday, 4 August 2010
I have just finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett which I was sent to review back in May.
I have to say, it took me awhile to get in to the book. It's nothing like any book I've read before. Once I got the hang of the slang and the characters themselves, I was finding it hard to put it down. The story is set in Jackson, Mississippi 1962 where the town is separated into those who are white and those who are coloured. The story is told through the characters Aibileen and Minny who are black maids to the high society women of the town and Miss Skeeter, a young white woman who has returned home from college to find her own maid from her childhood has left her home without any reason.
What really moved me about the book was the fact that this was how it was only 40 years ago! I've never thought of anybody being different because of the colour of their skin and it really made me angry reading parts of the book where the maids were belittled because of their skin colour. Yet this was acceptable to the people of Jackson. Miss Skeeter breaks away from the gang by deciding to approach the maids to write a book about how it feels to work for a white family. Aibileen decides to help her and along with Minny and the other maids of Jackson, they begin to write the book. A book that if anyone found out it was them who had written it could cause them all a lot of hurt, pain and destruction.
The book has been a US best seller, topping the charts there for over a year. I'd definitely recommend you grab a copy to add to your summer reading list. At times it moves you and at times it makes you laugh out loud. I felt like I really got to know the characters and found myself wanting them to come out on top and change things in their town. Whether they did or not you'll have to read for yourself.
The book has also been picked up to be made into a movie by Steven Spielberg's film company Dreamworks. If they get the right actors in for this film, I can see it being a big hit. I'll definitely be checking it out if and when it comes to the big screen.
We received The Help for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.