Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Help

For the past fortnight (you're welcome, Matt) I've enjoyed a delightful read named The Help.  It's by a University of Alabama graduate (whom I'll forgive), Kathryn Stockett, and is based on the Jim Crow South.

The book is written in the view of a few different women.  First is Skeeter Phelan.  She is, in a nutshell, my hero.  A fresh Ole Miss grad destined to be a writer, she moves back to Jackson, Mississippi with her parents until she lands a job, or even better, a husband.  It is then that she realizes things are changing, and starts interviewing various black women that work as "help" in town, in secret.  

Another of my favorites is Aibileen.  She is a domestic worker in a modest Jackson home and has tended to 17 white babies.  She is warm, intelligent, and courageous - everything you want in a lady.  When approached by Skeeter, she helps round up ladies to help with stories for her book.  She is a beautiful soul and I just want to hug her!

Then there's Minny, who you hate to love and love to hate.  She is the spunky, often troublesome best friend of Aibileen.  You just have to love her, especially after the way she treats the Terrible Awful, Hilly.  

I've said this to everyone, but it truly is the best book I've read since To Kill a Mockingbird.  It's one of those quick reads that will absolutely change your life.

AND they've made a movie about it!  Even though I'm a firm believer in reading a book before watching the film (which is why I haven't seen it yet), if you are too lazy to read it, just catch in theaters.  Or, buy it on DVD December 6th (no, I'm not obsessed).
Emma Stone playing Skeeter Phelan
Viola Davis as Aibileen Clark and Octavia Spencer as Minny Jackson
Aibileen, Minny, Skeeter, and Hilly

Happy reading/movie watching :)

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