Readers are always looking for that elusive book so riveting that they want to halt their lives and read all day and night. For me, The Help was the first book in quite a while that had me staying up late and thinking of creative ways to hide a book at the reference desk. Unfortunately, librarians don’t get to read all day so working, sleeping, and eating got in the way of reading.
The Help is wildly popular so you probably already know the premise. It takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in the midst of the civil rights movement and is about the relationships between white women and their black maids. Skeeter Phelan wants to see something change about the way “the help” is treated and tries to get a group of women to tell their stories.
I was not sure if I would like this book when I first heard about it because it sounded really depressing. Some parts of the story really are sad and had me sobbing, but it is also funny and heartwarming. I loved some of the characters as if I knew them and hated others with a passion. Stockett is one of the rare authors who have a strong ear for dialect. It helps that she grew up in Jackson and had a maid that raised her. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision. You gone have to ask yourself, “Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?”
I always order the banned books from a black market dealer in California, figuring if the State of Mississippi banned them, they must be good.
I often shy away from runaway bestsellers because they don’t often live up to the hype. My mom read it and loved it, and I trust her book taste so I bought it rather than put myself on the 400 person wait list at the library. I’m so glad I did. I don’t want to give up too much of the story so I’ll stop here, but you must read this book! If you don’t read anything else this year, read The Help. I will be shocked if you don’t love it.