Thursday, 8 March 2012
So I finally finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and I must say, I loved every word; this was one of the best books I have read. I stubbornly refused to watch the movie until I was done with the book, I don’t regret it. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is brilliant, there are some emotions you can’t imagine if you’ve never been in such a situation, and the movie helped with that, but the book has so much more of the maids’ perspective, and I loved the stories.
The Help is set in 1960 Jackson Mississippi, it is in the form where the story is told by three woman, Aibeleen, Minny and Skeeter.
Skeeter just returns from college and finds the maid that looked after her was gone, and no one answered any of her questions concerning Constantine. She starts writing for the Jackson Journal, as the agony aunt of household questions. She really wants to be a journalist and sends out her cv to big newspapers across the US. She then receives a mail from Elaine Stein a publishing house editor, which says that her writing is good but she needs to stretch herself and write about things that upset her. After watching her friends interactions with their maid’s she decides to ask them to help her with this book.
Aibeleen is a maid who works for Elizabeth Leefolt, she is the carer of Mae Mobley, Aibeleen keeps trying to teach Mae Mobley she is beter than what her mother thinks of her, Elizabeth is disappointed her daughter isn’t as cute as her friends daughters, from Aibeleen comes the now famous words: “You is kind, You is smart, You is important.” I love these words; Aibeleen kept repeating them to Mae Mobley.
Minny is the “sassy” maid, she speaks her mind and this gets her into a lot of trouble with her bosses. Especially Miss Hilly Holbrook, she fires Minny and tells everyone she steels, this causes no one to hire Minny, as a last resort Minny goes to Celia Foote and she gets the job as her maid, and she starts to teach Celia to cook, she is also keeping a secret for Celia.
Miss Hilly Holbrook can somehow be seen as the “villain” of the book, she keeps pressing the fact that whites are better than black people, she also has this issue with black people using a white toilette so she keeps pushing Skeeter to publish the home help sanitary system, where she wants all the whites to build a separate toilette for their help. This initiative is what triggers Skeeter’s idea of writing the book.
Skeeter’s friends stops including her in their plans as they think she is going against the grain of society, After several incidences more maids help Skeeter with the book, the stories told by the maids are funny, sad, inspiring. That is why I prefer the book to the movie.
So do yourself a favour, get the book and read it!