I live in New York City and I'm surrounded by books all day and when I go home I have more books waiting for me. Read my "About" page on top to see what I mean. I just want to share my book experiences and my love of all-things-books, with hopefully the occasional review thrown in. If you wish to contact me, the address is polishoutlanderATgmailDOTcom

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone. Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken. Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own. Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

This book is probably one of those “Who hasn’t read this by now anyway?” types of books at this point. And what else can I say that hasn’t been said already? Well, I hadn’t read it…until my vacation to Florida. I read it in the afternoons when we were in Key West, on a hammock, waiting for the sun to go down so that we could breathe easier and walk down the street without having to run back and shower again. I think it was the perfect setting because I was able to really, really enjoy the book in long chunks, and not short spurts on the subway.

Way back in early 2009, I got a galley of this book in the mail at work. I have no idea if I had requested it through an ad or if I just got on a list somehow and managed to get it. Well, it sat in my cube for quite some time. It was a monster of a book so I thought it would be a while before I would ever get to it. Flash forward to November of 2009 and my mom had told me that she was collecting anything for a fundraiser that was being held in her school. So I went through my stuff at work and found some books and galleys that I knew I would not be getting to in awhile so I wouldn’t miss them if I gave them away. Which mean that my galley copy of The Help went to my mom. Then about a month or so later, I noticed the galley downstairs in my parents’ place, on my mom’s desk. Apparently, she knew the book was a bestseller and she wanted to read it. So, then in February of this year during my mom’s winter break from school, she started to read it. But she didn’t get to finish it, and she thought it would be awhile before she would since school started. But….right after she went back to work in school, there was a snow day. My mom was thrilled. She got to stay home and finish the book. And then started to hound me to read it. On a regular basis. I got strict orders to buy the book anyway. So I did. And finally….

What a read. The Help was one of those books that you could almost see play out in front of your eyes. Everytime I would near the end of a chapter, or to the end of one person’s narration, I thought I would stop. But no. I kept going, cause I kept thinking, “Well, now that this has happened, I need to know what the other person’s viewpoint is.” And there were constant turning points in the book so it was really hard to put down. With some books, I can randomly just stop reading in the middle of of a chapter, even a page, heck even in the middle of a sentence.

Not with this one. The pages kept turning.

I really have nothing profound to add about this book. It was such a satisfying read. I can name a few titles that have left me feeling that way: just an all-around good story. I’m glad it lived up to the hype (from book reviews and my mom). So in that case, here’s the author with some insight on her book:

2 comments to The Help by Kathryn Stockett

  • Yay! I’m so glad you read this and liked it! “Two-Slice Hilly” cracks up my inner 12-year-old every time. She so deserved it though. What a small-minded, awful person. I just had to love Abilene and Minny.

  • This one’s steadily working its way up my list. The list is just so long…
    I have a friend, though, who insists I should listen to it instead. She said it’s a great audiobook version, but I’ve never done an audiobook. They annoy me.
    We’ll see.