I did it! I finished “The Help” – and in six days! Remember last week when I first told you I’d joined the book club? I bet you didn’t think I could do it, did you?
Well, I have to be honest…once I realized the book was 417 pages long, I wasn’t sure I’d make it. Then it seemed like fate was against me…I could have sworn we had a copy of The Help at home but I couldn’t find it, so I bought the ebook for my Nook. Then the Nook wouldn’t download the book for a half a day. Then I returned to my apartment and thought I’d left the charger for my Nook at my parent’s house. Not to mention I was juggling work, skype dates with The Man, working on recipes, and writing blog posts.Whew! But, between it all (and thanks to some insomnia I’ve been having), I finished the book. Hooray!
It helped that it was a really, really good book.
So, let me first answer the questions from the book club guidelines, and then we’ll talk. Ok?
1. What is the book about? Essentially it’s about the differences between “colored domestics and the white southern women they work for”, and I’m taking that directly FROM the book. It is told from the perspectives of three women (one white socialite, two African American maids). Miss Skeeter (the socialite) decides to write a book on the aforementioned topic, and enlists the help of Aibileen and Minny, the two maids. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s a really eye opening (fictional) account of Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s.
2. What were your initial thoughts on the book? Were you impressed? Disappointed? When I started to read, I thought I wasn’t going to finish. The book starts from Aibileens point of view and is written in a heavy dialect that I found hard to follow. Plus I’m somewhat of a grammar freak, so reading a sentence like, “she try to tease it up, but it only make it look thinner,” made my eyes cross. I wanted to stop reading. A couple chapters later I was so sucked in to the story that I stopped noticing the dialect and poor grammar.
3. Favorite quotations from the book. Here are just a few (and they are mostly from the beginning of the book, because it’s too much of a pain to highlight quotes on a Nook. One more reason I prefer actual books – you can highlight or note or dog ear the pages to your hearts content! Sorry. Tangent over.):
She already got the blue dress I ironed this morning, the one with sixty-five pleats on the waist, so tiny I got to squint through my glasses to iron. I don’t hate much in life, but me and that dress is not on good terms.
This woman talk like she from so deep in the country she got corn growing in her shoes.
“No, it ain’t just lard,” I say. “It’s the most important invention in the kitchen since jarred mayonnaise.”
Even though she has zero kids and nothing to do all day, she is the laziest woman I’ve ever seen. Including 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.
If I’d played Mammy, I’d of told Scarlett to stick those green draperies up her white little pooper. Make her own damn man-catching dress.
4. What did you like most about the book? Definitely the relationship that grows between the three women – Miss Skeeter and Aibileen the most. Plus, Skeeter’s revelation that “Wasn’t that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.” Talk about eye-opening.
5. Would you recommend this book to a friend? Absolutely.
This book was heartfelt, and it yet it made my heart hurt all the same. And then I read the author’s note at the end of the book and almost cried. But it was funny, too, as you can tell by the quotes I picked to share with you. There were times when I actually did laugh out loud. I was a little disappointed with the ending though, because I felt like it was sort of abrupt. I wanted to continue reading, to see how everything turned out…but I realize that’s not real life. I was hoping for a happy ending, but I think the ending we got was real. And bittersweet.
Have you read The Help? What did you think?