17 June 2010

Book Review: The Help

I have been so busy (or not so busy) slogging through several nonfiction books that I forgot how enjoyable it is to pick up a light work of fiction. I'm not trying to imply that The Help was light in terms of subject matter. It was light in the sense that it was easy, breezy to read. I finished this nearly 400 page book in about a week. That's a record for me at this point in my life.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett is about three women in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi. Two of the women are maids, one is a white woman. She tells the story from each woman's point of view. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical of a white woman writing in a black woman's voice. Although I think there were some problems, Ms. Stockett generally did a good job of creating three distinct characters. The three women, Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter, form an unlikely union to write a book about what it's like for maids to work for white women. In the days before and during the civil rights movement, this was a dangerous undertaking. The story is certainly worth reading. I do remember thinking: This book is almost written like it will become a movie. And, sure enough, the book IS being made into a major motion picture.

No comments: