Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Well-Spoken Wednesday--"The Help" book review

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was on the waiting list for this book for almost 6 months.  When it came through, I have to admit that I thought I might not like it.  And if I would have based my review on the first 30 or 40 pages, I would have let it go.  I just couldn't connect with the story.  I really struggled with dialect of the black servants.  And I felt like I was thrown into the middle of the story with no background.

Around page 50, the character of Minny finally got my attention.  I was genuinely interested in what happened to her.  And then the very next chapter was Skeeter, the white woman who does so much good in the book.  I can only hope that if I lived back then, I would have been as brave as she was.  She did not back down, and she was willing to do whatever it took to change things.

There were some classic moments in this book that really drew me in--I am still talking about one interesting little pie recipe in the book.  And not all things in the book happen like you think they should.  There are moments that will outrage you and probably even cause you to cry.

I enjoy the way the author wrote the book.  She writes from the perspective of three people, I think.  And you can tell that the author knows much of what she is talking about.  And her note in the back of the book confirms this.  She grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and the author herself had a black servant.

If you would have asked me last week about my rating of the book, I would have given it four stars.  I give it five because once I got into it, I really didn't like to put it down.  The author knows just when to switch over to a different perspective, and the reader has to wait to see what happens in that situation a few chapters later.

No sex is in the book--I like that.  There is some bad language, but the concept of true Christian faith is also in the book.  The women are strong, and the blacks are so willing to stand up for their rights in spite of the consequences.  In fact, some of them see it as a chance to have a fresh start.

If you enjoy historical fiction, this book would suit you.  If you have strong feelings about civil right and equal rights for women, you would like the views of this book.  If you like a good romance, sorry, this book really doesn't have that.  And if you come into this book with racist/prejudiced views, you will probably hate it as the woman who runs the town, Hilly, did.  It is definitely one that will stick with you!

P.S.  Sorry I didn't post last night.  I intended to and only realized that I went to bed, I hadn't done it.  I even knew what I was going to write about!  I'll save it for another time.


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