Friday, June 24, 2011

The Book Report: The Help

Main Characters:
  • Aibileen Clark (a sweet gal who was a maid/nanny)
  • Minny Jackson (a sassy back-talking lady and a maid who can cook!)
  • Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (a girl who wanted to become a writer)
  • Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s - enough said!
  • What was life really like back then? How did people interact, what where the social norms?
  • How does change come about?
Random thoughts:
  • I know, I'm the last person left in the world who's read this book. I know.
  • I don't know how to explain it, but I get this feeling like I know Abie, Minny and Skeeter first hand. I wish they'd invite me over to their meetings, or something.
  • Abie + Minny seem like they're the type that can teach you a thing or two about life. I wish I could ask them questions, too.
  • Skeeter sounds like a fun gal to hang out with. When she started dating Stuart, I wasn't a big fan. I kept thinking she was going to give up her New York dream and thought it was kind of sad.
  • I loved the way Kathryn focused on the relationships between people and all the different types of bonds that were formed.
  • I was a little scared for all of them, that suspense of not knowing if anything might happen to them - it was always there for me. It wasn't blatantly obvious, but it was there. I thought they were all very brave.
  • The part that I liked best in the book was the relationship between Abie + Mae. I found it so sweet and genuine. Being a mom, it's just the best feeling in the world. I can't imagine not wanting to spend any free second you have with your baby - I felt so sorry that Elizabeth was missing all that.
  • The book gave me a new-found respect for all those people that sacrificed and are still working to make racism a thing of the past.
  • Have you read this book and would you recommend it? Duh, and duh - never mind, I know the answer ;)
  • I found Skeeter's thoughts on smoking and the Surgeon General interesting. I know it must have taken years to sink in, I mean it still hasn't to lots of people. Her reaction made me think of how we react to all the warnings today about plastics and pesticides, it kind of makes you think - what am I doing to myself? I've started buying glass containers, gave away all my non-stick pans and bought myself some cast-iron skillets that I use every day now. I'm also trying to buy organic milk and veggies from the Dirty Dozen list, but really these are just little dents in the grand scheme of things.
  • Back to the book!
  • Kathryn mentioned a Mexican wanting to join the DAR and I guess I didn't think there were that many Mexicans in the South at the time. I didn't know if she was bringing it up to add another dimension to the segregation/racism issue? Do you all know what that was about?
  • I know the racism issue has gotten better, but it still out there - have you ever experienced it first hand? I'm from west Texas which has a predominant Hispanic population, so I haven't really been exposed to it. The first time I felt it was on a leadership trip to D.C. - where one of my roommates told another one to hang-up the phone because "They were Mexican." The room went quiet and all the girls looked at me. I was shocked, but I just asked her "I'm sorry, did you just say something?" I got no response, I moved on but I still remember it.
  • Some people believe that being handicap and/or overweight are today’s new racism targets, but with wider accepted discrimination. In a way, I could see their point in the work force. The good looking people always seemed to get the promotions. You should have walked the hallways during my Exxon days! I can’t think of one girl who wasn’t pretty working there and most of the guys were good looking as well.
Like I said (and I'm sure you've already heard), this book is worth reading! It covers a touchy subject, but doesn’t throw it in your face. The focus is on the people, the relationships that made change possible one person at a time.


Kimberly said... Best Blogger Tips

So glad you read this book. I absolutely loved it, and I was almost sad that it ended. I wanted to keep "hanging out" with Abilene and Minnie!

cynthiasolc said... Best Blogger Tips


Thanks Kimberly, I think I actually looked up this book when you were reading it :)