Sunday, July 19, 2009

Book Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

There are many, many things that I should be doing today, but because I'm suffering from a delayed hangover after too much beer pong, half a bottle of prosecco and almost an entire bag of Twizzlers, I haven't felt like doing much aside from laying around in my pajamas and reading. And honestly, in spite of the fact that it's 80 degrees and perfect outside, and even though Laura is not going to be happy with me for slacking on our latest masterpiece, I feel like the 6 hours I've spent reading today have been time well spent.

I have no idea where to begin with this book review as is probably obvious based on all of the rambling in the first paragraph, but The Help was simply phenomenal. A story that every writer should read, every woman should read, every person should read. It's gorgeously written and completely fearless. I absolutely loved this book.

The Help tells the stories of southern women and their maids in Mississippi in the early 1960's. I knew about Jim Crow laws, I've read about the civil rights movement and I certainly understood from an intellectual level that Mississippi had to be a pretty turbulent place to live in 1962. But the secret to amazing fiction is that it takes the facts, the statistics, the reality and allows you to live it. To experience it like you were there. And that's exactly what The Help did for me.

My favorite line in the entire book (and Stockett's most prized) is:

"Wasn't that the point...? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought."

It's a beautiful line and a beautiful book. I urge you all to read it. Now.


Shelli (srjohannes) said...

sounds beautiful. how did you do a literary review with a hangover. wow

Katie Anderson said...

I can't say enough about this work of art. It changed the way I write. It is simply AWESOME!

I feel so honored to have met her and hung out one night!

JennyMac said...

Glad you survived Prosecco Part II. This book sounds fantastic. I am always on the look out for new titles.

And thank you for your awesome comment on my bday post. :)

Christina Lee said...

I am definitely suffering this am after a fun BBQ last night-ugghh Advil here I come!
ok you've convinced me to read it!

Kimberly Derting said...

What? No thumbs down photos for the author to stalk you over??? Man, you guys are going soft...must be all the Prosseco and beer pong.

Fine! I'm adding it to my TBR list. I could use a good grown-up read.

jdsanc said...

What? You didn't shop for BCPowder, bottom shelf, Rite Aid or any drugstore. They all know it. Get it. Use it. Every time you drink champagne or Prosecco. But then you won't be able to indulge in a good book. Wait a minute. Forget everything. Hangovers are good.

lisa and laura said...

Shelli - I am a woman of many talents.

Katie - I'm SO jealous that you've met Kathryn. She must be amazing in person.

Jenny - Hope your birthday was fabulous. Definitely pick up this book.

Christina - I can't wait to hear what you think of this book. It's just incredible.

Kimberly - Ha! I knew someone was going to call me out on this rave review. Well, at least you know we're honest...

JD - I know, I know. We forgot the damn powder. Next time...although I'm still a little scared of it.

Jen said...

I've got this one at the top of my to-be-read list. I haven't read one negative review for this book yet.

Emily Grotta said...

From 1972-74 we lived in Philadelphia, Mississippi, which may be why The Help, a first novel by Kathryn Stockett, held me in its grasp for the past 24 hours.

It was ten years after the death of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, and the distrust of anyone wearing a federal uniform was still palpable.

I wrote the "Cook of the Week" column for The Neshoba Democrat, which gave me entree into people's homes. And, like the narrators of this book, as long as I was able to keep my mouth shut and my thoughts to myself, I was able to lern a lot about the Deep South and the deeply held prejudices that fill the pages of this book.

(For more, see full review)

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