Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett was an excellent read. Katherine and I read it simultaneously this summer. I had it on my Kindle, and she had a paperback. After we were finished, we decided to see the movie together when it came out.

Today was the day. We went to the 1:00 matinee. The movie was very good as well. I sobbed through the movie, and I don't remember doing that with the book. Katherine said it was because they play sad music when something sad happens. I think maybe it was my hormones.

I would highly recommend reading the book and seeing the movie. If you only see the movie, you miss a lot of detail. If you only read the book, you miss seeing the characters come to life.

Set in Jackson, Mississippi during the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, The Help gives readers insight into the contrast between white and black cultures at the time.

Skeeter, a 22-year old recent college graduate, returns home with a desire to write something that will make a difference. After a short time trying to participate in Junior League activities with her hometown friends, she realizes how different her perspective is regarding the help. Skeeter was extremely fond of her own maid, Constantine, who raised her and mysteriously disappeared while she was away at school.

Skeeter collaborates with two maids to begin the story of what it is like to be "the help". In order to get her manuscript published, Skeeter needs to have at least twelve more maids agree to tell their stories. There is great danger involved in speaking up about their white employers, so the others will not participate until a boy is killed and a maid is sent to jail.

The book eventually gets published because of the courage displayed by Skeeter and the Mississippi maids.

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