The Help


I love, love, love this book! It's definitely a favorite book of mine now.

Every character is so real and believable. They have such unique and endearing personalities that they completely pull you into the story and by the end they feel like friends. I know the story is fiction, but to me it's so real I find myself believing that I'm reading someone's actual account. I love being able to slip into their world and understand a different way of life. I'm learning more about what it was like to live in Mississippi during this time period than I ever have before. It blows my mind that I was born a mere 25 years later and grew up in a completely different world. I always seem to read books right before they are turned into movies and this is no exception. I've seen the previews for the movie but from what I can tell it won't be anywhere near as good as the book. In fact, I don't think I'll see the movie, I just want to remember the story as it was told in the book because I don't think anything can beat that.

Summary:
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone. Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own. Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

I recommend this book to everyone. You'll fall in love with the characters and feel as if you're a better person for having read it. I have thought about it so much since I finished reading it. I think of the words humanity and truth when I think of this story.

Quotes

There are many lines I underlined in this book, but most of them can really only be appreciated in the context of the story and so I'm leaving most of them out, but here are a few samples.

"You is kind. You is smart. You is important."

"Stuart needs 'space' and 'time,' as if this were physics and not a human relationship."

"...My sister Doreena who never lifted a royal finger growing up because she had the heart defect that we later found out was a fly on the X-ray machine. "

"Constantine sat down next to me, at the kitchen table. I heard the cracking of her swollen joints. She pressed her thumb hard in the palm of my hand, somthing we both knew meant Listen. Listen to me. 'Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.' Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums. 'You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?' She kept her thumb pressed hard in my hand. I nodded that I understood. I was just smart enough to realize she meant white people. And even though I still felt miserable, and knew that I was, most likely, ugly, it was the first time she ever talked to me like I was something besides my mother's white child. All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe."

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