Sunday, July 3, 2011

Audio Book: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

 Publication Date: February 10, 2009
Narrators: Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, Cassandra Campbell & Jenna Lamia
Length: 18 hours (whew!)

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

My Two Cents:

Man...I feel quite silly. Why? Because I finally decided to read this book. Sometimes I read a bestseller that everyone's been raving about and I'm disappointed. Now I feel like I missed the boat. This book was absolutely phenomenal. Characters that make you actually care about them and plot that has you sitting on the edge of your seat.

Skeeter is a white woman who seems unhappy with her everyday life. She received a college degree but is told by her mother that landing a husband is far more important. She comes to live back home with her parents and childhood friends. She finds that her childhood friends are different from her. They are completely content with being chair persons of committees, being wives, and playing bridge. Skeeter wants more than Mississippi can offer. Like being a real writer. So she finds inspiration in her friend's black maid Aibileen. 

Aibileen is my favorite of the three women. Bahni Turpin is the narrator for her pov who is one of my favorite narrators. Whatever Bahni reads I want to hear it. Aibileen is a nice woman but she stuck up for herself when she needed to. She'd been through a lot in her life with her son passing away. She's raised many white children only to have most of them look down on her eventually for being black. She keeps trying with each one to change things until she meets Skeeter and they devise a dangerous plan to set things in motion.
Minny is such a firecracker! Yea she's a maid but don't think for one minute you can tell her what to do. She's been fired too many times for her big smart mouth to count. Even though she's skeptical of white people she finally finds a place where she can be herself and not get dismissed.

Simply amazing is all I can say to describe this one. It didn't seem like it was that long because the plot was constantly moving. A novel like this set during the Jim Crows laws in the South you would think would be sad. Yes some parts were sad and hard to listen to but there were plenty of funny areas to balance it out. The ending was bittersweet for me. Even though there was closure, I would be delighted if the story of these ladies continued.


1 comment:

  1. One of the best book I've read. It ranks with the best novels ever produced by a Southern writer. The first time I've followed a book's progress up the best seller ladder pulling for it to hit Number One. It should be top ten by the end of March. This is a rave, not a synopsis. Kathryn Stockett's voices ring true whether the speaker is black or white. Indeed, the things that unite us are greater than those that separate us!

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