Monday, November 1, 2010

The Help

As you know dear readers every now and then I write about a book I've read. Usually I try to limit these "reviews" to books about cooking or knitting to be true to the name of the blog but, alas my sometimes wayward thoughts have co-opted that intention.

I just finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It is set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960's and tells the stories of the domestic help who tend to well-to-do Southern families. It may seem a bit unusual for me to say this about a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, and perhaps this is exactly the dichotic response the author wished to elicit, but this book left me feeling both sad and embarrassed. I kept wishing I was Skeeter writing about things many of us know only through history books, television, or kitchen table stories.

Although this is a fictional tale, it could easily have been about any number of people from that time and situation. I would consider myself fortunate indeed to have known the dear, kind Aibileen, or the sassy Miss Minny (a soul mate, perhaps) or the spunky and courageous twenty-two year old Skeeter, who sacrificed the security of her comfortable Southern life to expose the plight of others.

A must read.

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