18 December 2009

The Help

by Kathryn Stockett

I admit that I bought this book because I was intrigued: the author graduated from the University of Alabama and majored in English. Sound familiar?

But, I was not disappointed. The book tells the story of three women, one white and two black, during 1960s, small-town Mississippi. Although it would be very easy for the author to rely on the same old formula here, and although she does take some liberties with her historical timeline, Stockett does a wonderful job of narrating a compelling, moving story through various first-and third-person voices. It's not a fast-paced book, and I think it's one that would lend itself to either a quick read or a more slow, lingering one.

Having grown up in a small Southern town, I can attest to the accuracy of how the town is portrayed, along with its biases and attitudes. It's fair and respectful where it should be, but doesn't hesitate to draw a distinction between acknowledging the reason for prejudice and accepting it. No, no. Though Stockett may help explain to us where the various characters' prejudices lie, and their origins, she never seeks to justify them, nor does she expect her reader to adopt them.

I loved this book; I actually feel affection for it. Perhaps it's because it's been so long since I've been home. That will be remedied, come next Thursday!

1 comment:

  1. Less book reviews, more makeup reviews please! Ha! Just kidding. I'm just jealous I don't have more time to read. Going out to get your Christmas present today and I really hope you like it as much as I think you will.