Thursday, August 12, 2010

Book Review: The Help

This is the book everyone's talking about, like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was in 2009. (Isn't The Help so much easier to say, though?) Funny, though: like the Guernsey etc., I initially avoided The Help because of its title. The Guernsey etc. sounded cheesy, and The Help sounded like self-help. Or The Shack. I was skeptical.

I had no idea that Kathryn Stockett's best-seller actually has to do with the help, as in "the servants." I'm a little dense sometimes.

I loved the book. I've heard it compared to To Kill a Mockingbird, and that's just taking it way too far, in my opinion. But it is excellent. Well written, poignant, never sappy, witty, and just plain readable.

So many bloggers have already reviewed this book. I don't have a whole lot to add to what they've said. I liked it. I think you should read it.

Other Reviews of The Help
The Book Lady's Blog: "The Help is addictively, compulsively readable. I couldn’t put it down. Stockett’s debut is well-written, and it is clear that she really understands Southern life and has made great efforts to understand what life was like for black women who served white families."
Patricia's Wisdom: "It is a woman’s novel in that it once again shows that when people can communicate and interact – band together they can create change and bring to light oppression, prejudice and racism."
Rebecca Reads: "In the end, I really enjoyed reading The Help (given I couldn’t put it down!). I didn’t think it was perfect, and I probably won’t ever reread it. Maybe because I went in to it with low expectations, though, I found it a satisfying, engaging read well worth the hype."
Write Meg: "An important novel that tackles Major Issues that still manages to be entertaining, lively, affecting and unbelievably moving? It’s a rare find, friends, and it gets my absolute highest recommendation."
Steph Su Reads: "What could have easily fallen into the clich├ęd ruts of Southern or black American history instead stands on its own due to its smooth writing and unforgettable characters."
The Book Whisperer: "It is worth every glowing review, every recommendation and every superlative ever written about it."
A Novel Menagerie:
"Ms. Stockett really forced me to think about not only what racial differences have done to our history, but to also consider women’s roles in American history. What stuck with me throughout my read is the truth that a woman’s heart and her love for others has nothing to do with the color of her skin nor the family she derives from."
Sensible Shoes: "The Help is not the great American novel and not particularly literary. Instead, it is an immensely satisfying, story-driven narrative. It is an airplane-book with heart. "
Maw Books: "I could not put this book down, I found myself at the stove with the book in one hand while flipping pancakes with another. At 464 pages, I almost wished it was another 300 pages long. I didn’t want it to end. I read non-stop. It was simply wonderful!"


mummazappa said...

i think that's the best review comment i've ever read: 'i liked it, i think you should read it' :-)

i too have been avoiding it wondering if it is too cheesy to be really any good. but with that sentence you've just convinced me to read it!

wisteria said...

Sometimes...that's all you need to say. I am definitely going to take it off the shelf now. Thanks for the nudge.

Library Cat said...

I only read this book because the women in my book group were gushing about it, but I really liked it too. As I was reading, I wondered two things - 1. Surely they will make a movie and who would play the main characters? and 2. When is the sequel following our heroine going to be written?

Hope you can come by for a visit at LibraryCats Books. Maybe you have answers to my questions. :-)

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