67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
This Book Deserves 10 Stars,
This review is from: The Help (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Way back in the late 1950s, I stayed with a friend and her family in the South for two weeks. Being an early riser, I found the only other person up and about was the maid. So I sat and talked to her while she ironed or did other chores. After a couple days, I was asked by the mother of my friend to please not talk to the maid. I don't remember what reason was given, but even all these years later I remember the shame: The shame for not knowing The Rules and, at some level, the shame for these people I was staying with because I knew somehow it was wrong. I also don't remember the maid's name, but I remember vividly that she always stood and walked like her feet hurt dreadfully. Their maid could be any one of the women in The Help.
Kathryn Stockett has written an absolutely amazing book. I don't have enough superlatives to describe it. The story itself is compellingly readable and the dialogue of the African American maids is spot on. The author has a beautiful ability to tell the stories of the maids without being condescending or sensationalizing the events described. When Miss Hilly strongly suggested that Miss Elizabeth build a separate bathroom for Miss Elizabeth's maid, Aibileen, I could feel once again the shame I felt as a young teenager. I laughed and I cried along with the characters and felt like I was actually walking those blistering, hot streets of Jackson, Mississippi. I could not read this book fast enough and was terribly sad when I finished it--the signs of a great book. I can hardly wait until Ms. Stockett publishes her next book.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 30, 2009 5:50:34 PM PDT
J. Lesley says:
Becca---your relating your own personal experience enhances your review so much. I'm sure you took away something very special from reading this book.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2009 1:09:57 AM PDT
Judy---I hadn't thought about that incident for years, but it immediately came to mind when I read this book. The shame was so intense that I had never told anyone about it until right before I wrote this report, I told Mr. T. and my son.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2009 1:19:51 PM PDT
Pamela A. Poddany says:
Becca: Your review makes me happy that I have this on my TBR list. Sounds wonderful! I can only imagine how you felt back when your incident happened. Good review.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2009 5:47:34 PM PDT
Pam---The Help is an amazing book. I'm so sorry that I've finished it, but fully intend to read it again.
Posted on Apr 13, 2009 4:53:50 AM PDT
Susan Kaput says:
I also was sad that the book had to end; an absolutely outstanding novel, first or otherwise. Your recollections of the shame you felt visiting those friends and your feelings about the situation served to deepen my appreciation of the book. Thank you.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2009 5:54:22 AM PDT
Susan K, Thank you for your kind comment. I still think about this book. I just offered to loan it to my son, but made it very clear to him that I want it back so I may re-read it. It is truly a remarkable book.
Posted on Apr 18, 2009 8:04:53 PM PDT
J. Lesley says:
Becca---I went in to get my allergy shots two weeks ago and all the girls in the office mobbed me to ask about this book. They wanted to know if I had read it yet. I told them that you had written a really good review for Vine and suggested that they come look yours over. When I went back last week several had bought the book and absolutely loved it. Good on you!! We need to petition Amazon to start paying out commission. Between the books we convince each other to buy and the books we convince total strangers to buy we might make enough to pay for our own book habit. I even convinced someone to buy a Kindle last week. Granted, he had already been leaning rather heavily in favor of buying but holding mine in his own two hands and playing around with it gave him the final push.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2009 9:18:53 PM PDT
Judy---Thank you. You're right--I think Amazon owes us big time. The last time I was in Books-a-million, I wanted to stand right in front of the book and advise people to read it.
In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2009 7:37:50 PM PDT
Pamela A. Poddany says:
I have yet to read this book, but am looking forward to doing so. School ends in 13 days or 104 hours so I will be free to do as I wish. I know what you mean about being in a book store and standing by books and getting on the soap box for them. I have been in Target several times and have persuaded people to buy WATER FOR ELEPHANTS. Most of them do. Or perhaps they put it in their cart while I am there and then when the coast is clear they ditch it in the Frito aisle. What do you think? Anyway, I look forward to reading this one.
Hope all is well --
In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2009 7:07:12 PM PDT
Pam---Gee, you wouldn't be anxious for school to be over, would you? How many hours? I sent my copy to my son who teaches history. I'm looking forward to get his take on The Help. But he has to wait for school to be over too. Unfortunately he still has about a month to go.
All is well--getting ready to head north in June. Which unfortunately means having to clean the RV top to bottom. Ugh.