The Help

the helpI can see that summer time is slowly coming, and holidays as well! I hope many of you will be able to escape a bit to relax. I do not know what you are up to when you have time off, but as far as I am concerned, I read (it is even better if I can do that laying-down on the grass or on the beach ! 🙂 )

Last year my mum offered me a book: The Help. I read it in 2 days, despite the 550 pages! The style, the pace and the story were so nicely arranged that I could not stop reading.  For those of you who would be interested, I tried to make a quick summary below:

The Help is a fiction novel by Kathryn Stockett. The story sets in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962. These are turbulent times for the USA, and more particularly in Jackson where the segregation and the mistreatment of black people was a common practice in the city. At this time, well-off white families used to hire black maids to look after the kids, cook and clean the house. This reality was sadly supported by the “racial laws” implemented back at the time. The Help deals with a very delicate and painful subject but the writer did a great job and managed to speak about it with a subtle, fun, dynamic and sharp style. What I like about this book is that Kathryn Stockett did not make the mistake of using cliché or melodrama.

The novel features three main narrators : Aibileen, a black maid of 53 year old, who looks after the kids of white families; Minny (Aibileen’s best friend) , a very sassy woman who suffers domestic violence from her husband and Eugenia, a 23 years old young white woman who has recently moved back home to her family’s plantation after graduating from University. As different from one another as can be, the 3 women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk and change forever their existence.

Even if it takes a bit time before you get to the core of the plot, it is really worth it. Once the action has started, you will not stop until you get to the end. I know what I am talking about as I am quite demanding reader!

As most of you may know, the book was adapted to the cinema but I must admit I preferred the book to the movie. I feel the pace fresher and sassier in the book, while the characters in the movie look too much of a cliché … This is obviously only my opinion ! 

Enjoy the reading,

Details:

The Help
Author: Kathryn Stoctockett
Publisher : PENGUIN GROUP
Publication date: 10-Apr-2010

The picture in the post comes from the site :http://www.us.penguingroup.com

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