Friday, May 14, 2010

The Help

Civil rights movements - Fiction
African American women - Fiction
Jackson (Miss) - Fiction

Amy Einhorn Books
A member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Rating: 5/5 (Must Read)

Flap Synopsis:

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step....

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. 

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.  A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

Favorite passages:

Cause that's the way prayer do.  It's like electricity, it keeps things going.
My face get hot, my tongue twitchy.  I don't know what to say to her.  All I know is, I ain't saying it. And I know she ain't saying what she want a say either and it's a strange thing happening here cause nobody saying nothing and we still managing to have us a conversation.
"Ain't just for frying.  You ever get a sticky something stuck in your hair, like gum?"  I jackhammer my finger on the Crisco can.  "That's right, Crisco.  Spread this on a baby's bottom, you won't even know what diaper rash is."  I plop three scoops in the black skillet.  "Shoot, I seen ladies rub it under they eyes and on they husband's scaly feet."
"Look how pretty it is," she says.  "Like white cake frosting."
"Clean the goo from a price tag, take the squeak out a door hinge.  Lights get cut off, stick a wick in it and burn it like a candle."
I turn on the flame and we watch it melt down in the pan.  "And after all that, it'll still fry your chicken."
It feels cool, like water washing over my sticky-hot body.  Cooling a heart that's been burning me up all my life.
Truth, I say inside my head again, just for that feeling.
It was like something cracked open inside of me, not unlike a watermelon, cool and soothing and sweet.  I always thought insanity would be a dark, bitter feeling, but it is drenching and delicious if you really roll around in it.


I just loved this book!  I read it on my Kindle and then promptly went out and bought a copy to have my daughter read, then I'll make my hubby read it.  I plan on reading it over and over and over.....