Since so many people have reviewed the book, I can’t really add many comments to it other than my opinion. I found the characters to be quite believable for the time period—1960s Jackson, Mississippi, right during the middle of the Civil Rights Movement. The dialogue seemed authentic, which added to the validity of the novel.
I couldn’t help but be completely engrossed in the plot. Like many others, I was hooked right at the first page when Aibileen, one of the black maids in the book, is talking about raising white babies. I found myself getting angry at some points, and cheering in others.
What I really enjoyed about the book was seeing the tension between the black maids and their white employers. The black maids had been raised to serve the nice southern white women dutifully (and without complaint), but we still saw the dissent of the help throughout the whole book, particularly after extreme events such as the outside bathroom. This eventually led to creating Help with Skeeter.
One of my favorite characters from the book was Hilly, not because I liked her, but because I found her to be fascinating. She was so determined to be a socialite that she didn’t even see how she was acting to her own daughter and the black maids. Racism was so ingrained in her that she forgot everything else. Quite fascinating.
I also found the interactions between Skeeter and her mother intriguing. Skeeter isn’t interested in getting married, and of course her mother disapproves of that. She goes so far as to call Skeeter a lesbian. That’s quite different from today’s age where it can be acceptable in society for women not to get married, or getting married at an older age. Again, that reflects the time period.
Of course I have to give the book five stars because it was so compelling. Yes, it was worth the hype. Yes, you should read it as fast as possible. You won’t regret it.
My mom read this book with me. Here’s a link to her review.
- The Help (gillelandcreations.wordpress.com)
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett (wereallmadherebookblog.wordpress.com)
- The Help (2011) (chengflores.wordpress.com)