Top critical review
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Entertaining - evokes the South at a point in time
on April 22, 2009
Having grown up in the South with "help" until I left home, I identified with many things in this book. Stockett has done a marvelous job of evoking time and place, from the food to the weather to of course the dialect.
I would have liked to have seen characters that were a bit more multi-dimensional. The maids depicted here were for the most part without failing, their white female employers almost universally despicable. As a male reader, I couldn't help but notice that the few men depicted were pretty miserable people, from the stereotypical wife-beating husband of Minny to the mostly one-dimensional husbands. The one standout was the senator, who was an entertaining character that leapt off the pages and added some variety. I think the book would have benefited from a bit more editing - I enjoyed the first 2/3 very much but then began to find it tiresome as the inevitable unfolded.
I also think that Skeeter's on-again off-again romance lacked depth - and wrapped up too abruptly. (Maybe that was edited out? haha)
Having said the above, I did enjoy "The Help" and would recommend it to others. It was a good first book for an author but leaves me wanting more from someone a bit more seasoned in building characters and handing multiple plot-lines.