The Help

by Kathryn Stockett | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0141047704 Global Overview for this book
Registered by AgnesXNitt of Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on 2/1/2012
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by AgnesXNitt from Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 01, 2012
'Enter a vanished world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962.
Where black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted not to steal the silver...
There's Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son's tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from college, who wants to know why her beloved black maid has disappeared.
Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they'd be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell...'

Bought last year, second hand, though I haven't seen the film yet. Our church 'Friend's' society has a film night once a year, and this March they have chosen this film so I thought I would try to read it again (first attempt left me stuck unable to get into the spirit of the story) in time to get something extra from the film :)

Journal Entry 2 by AgnesXNitt at Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Monday, February 06, 2012
I did try this book before, but just couldn't get into it. Having had a second attempt, I'm really glad I did - this time I couldn't put it down!!
The past is a different country, and they do things very differently there - and nothing proves it like this book. Based on an actual book listing the experiences of black 'maids' working for white families in the American South in the 1960's this book really made me think. Some would say we have moved on from such bigoted miseducated thinkings but sadly, I don't think some parts of society has. Presented from three very different women's experiences - two black maids: Aibileen - quiet and nursing the devestation of her only son's death, raising one white baby after another and trying to instill respect for all people til her services are no longer required, the other, Minny: a fire cracker of a women, mother to six children, and wife to a no good husband who is work shy, drinks and beats her up for no other reason that he thinks she deserves it, and Skeeter, a young white woman, fresh home from college, who is pining for the maid, Constantine, who raised her, and who has been thrown out of her job with Skeeter's family while she was away at school. What happened to Constantine? Why will nobody explain her absence? Skeeter longs to be a writer and gets advice from a NY publisher to write about something she is passionate about. Skeeter gets a job writing the household advice column for the local newspaper, but around her Mother trying to marry her off, despairing at her daughter's height (too tall), her hair (too frizzy) and her lack of enthusiasm about marrying and having children, Skeeter persuades Aibileen to talk about her life working for white families. Aibileen persuades other maids to do the same, and Skeeter's book, written in secret under the social and legal radar, both she and the women who talk to her risk their homes, their jobs and their lives in order to expose the bigotry and racism that runs rife through their lives.
A real page turner, and one I have now lent to my Mama in prep for the film. Its not going to be an easy watch - frankly I wanted to slap Hilly the moment I 'met' her, and the rest of the League women who blindly do what all their mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers have done without challenging the status quo.
Brilliant - read it!

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