The Help

On Thursday, our university had an International Writing Day celebration. Being the self-claimed writer that I want to be, I decided to go too.The free lunch was not an incentive, believe me.

Thursday morning was spent literally in pain, at my desk. My eyes were sore for some strange reason. Honestly the place I wanted to be was not here but in my bed.My body was yearning for some rest. The one hour event in the downstairs open air auditorium was a welcome relief.

The library had set up a temporary stall there with some books on “Writing” that they had picked out. I went to look too and found two books – one – Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark and the second, surprisingly, was not a book on writing but the old world type cover on the book was endearing, so I picked it up too. The book was titled ‘ The Help” and authored by Kathryn Stockett. The review at the back said, it starts where Margaret Mitchells’s Gone with the Wind” ended. That was temptation enough.

Sick and weary, I dragged myself home at 3 pm, an hour earlier than my official work time. And after my domestic chores, settled down to some book reading bliss. When I read, I am like Jo in Little Women. I hate disturbances and am so totally in the book that I find it difficult to come down to earth sometimes.

Friday and Saturday, saw me reading the book and finally I was done.

What can I say ?

After a long time,  I have read a book that really tells a story. A story where the story teller is not sick of the characters by the time the last few chapters of the book come through and he/she wants to end it all and the reader is left wondering what happened.

Well, this story is not like that. It is set in the 1960s, in semi-urban Jackson Mississippi. The story is narrated through the words of various housemaids and one housemaid sympathizer. I loved the pace of the story and the way the housemaids turned the tables on some of their mistresses. The sorrows, joys, prayers, trials, tribulations of the housemaids is portrayed so well, I could just have been there. There is a lot of reference to Ms. Hilly, in the book but if you ask me- is Ms. Hilly the heroine of the book ? I would say not- it would be Ms. Skeeter. And her assistants.

I would recommend this book and ask if you have recently read a book, which you really wanted to keep – in your library, so you could re-read ?

The Help would be my selection of one such book. What would you suggest ?

 

10 thoughts on “The Help

  1. I didn’t read the book, but saw the movie. It had some hilarious moments. Some moments were embarrassing considering I am from the South that the book portrays. I do remember some of the old ways. But since I was a child, I didn’t pay much attention.

    My Mother and Grandmother had maids back then. We were taught to respect them as we were all adults. So it wasn’t until I saw the movie that I fully realized some of the ways they were mistreated.

    I don’t have a maid, but I sure would love someone else to clean my house. Ha ha. I have a friend that does this for a business. She charges 17 dollars an hour. Wow. I can’t even afford my own friend.

    Glad you got to enjoy a good book,
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Debbie, to be honest I did think about you when reading this book and did wonder about what you have written here. The book does bring back old memories doesn’t it- a little bit of Uncle Tom’s cabin, a little of Mamie( Gone with the wind) and a little of the modern day equivalent.
      Have you heard about the 1932 syphilis study in Tuskegee ? Was done on Black African American males.
      I didn’t find many parts of the book funny but there were some nail biting moments in it- particularly when a white naked male came to the yard of a white woman but threatened the maid of the house and chased her around till the White mistress, shot the man down. We have maids in our houses but never for full time and though they are never treated as members of the family, they would never take the nonsense the book showed them as taking.
      Good you don’t have a maid- that work will be part of your daily exercise and keep you thin, I’m sure.
      Susie

      Like

      1. Susie, I don’t remember the naked man scene in the movie. I might have to watch it again. The funny part in the movie is when the maid put her feces in a cake/pie served to the rude white lady. I didn’t like the rude white lady, so I roared with laughter at that cake/pie, especially since I love cakes/pies, etc. Ha,ha!

        Like

      2. I know that is the yucky part, right ?I can’t believe any human being would do that to another.
        The naked man part is there in the book and described so vividly- it is kinda funny, sad, scary, wondering where its going type of incident which had a happy ending- you need to get the book Debbie. Do you know the place, Jackson Mississippi ?
        Susie

        Liked by 1 person

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