Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Publication Date: February 10, 2009
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pages: 522

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.
I believe there is no perfect book. There will always be something wrong, no matter how little that thing is, it still is something wrong. But this is the closest a book I've read got.
Then I type Hilly's initiative. I place it on the second page, opposite the photo ops. This is where everyone will be sure to see it, after they look at themselves at the Summer Fun Jamboree. All I can think while I'm typing is, What would Constantine think of me? 
I don't read this kind of book that often. But I heard so many good things about it, that I just had to read it. And I'm really glad I did.
So, let's start with the writing. It was really well written. Each character had they're own voice. You could easily tell who was talking. The only thing I really wasn't thrilled with was some of the conversations. They didn't always feel completely right, but that's just a small thing. And I might just be a little picky.
The characters were great. They had completely different personalities, but they just seemed to fit together. Aibileen is the voice of reason. She's calm, cool, and collected. Minny is the hot head with a big mouth. She doesn't want to get to involved at first, but she does want things to change.  And Skeeter is the college graduate that doesn't want to do exactly what her mom wants. She doesn't just want to get married and have kids. She wants to be a writer. She wants to write something important.
The other characters are just what I imagined them to be. Hilly is the snobby rich girl. Elizabeth is the follower who just wants to be popular. She doesn't have all the smarts and she just really doesn't care about much other then what Hilly thinks of her. Celia is the new girl who just wants some friends. She doesn't get that the other girls don't like her.
The book is gets you pretty hooked. The ending is one of the best parts. And no, it's not because I wanted it to end. The ending isn't one of those that everything ended about perfect. There isn't anything wrong with those endings, but one probably wouldn't fit this book. So you an ending where you just get the feeling that everything end just the way it was meant to. And that after awhile it would be perfect.
I know I just listed one thing I didn't like, but there wasn't that many to list. I did wish, however, that the author would've focused more on a few other plot points. I just didn't feel every one of those were wrapped up well, and I just want a little more.
It's not get five hearts. It's getting 4.5. I really enjoyed it. I completely recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading. And to anyone who hesitated to read this because of the hype, just read it. I doubt you will regret it.

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