Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Help

     A friend of mine recommended this book to me.  It took me a while to read it because I had so many other books and projects going on at the same time.  I think that was a good thing because the slow pace seemed to fit the south where the book takes place.
     I learned a lot about the Civil Rights Movement that I didn't know before.  I knew that there were different public bathrooms, but I didn't know that black maids were not allowed to use the same bathrooms in the houses they cleaned.  The scene with Mae Mobley being toilet trained and her mother's reaction shocked me.
   I enjoyed seeing the different points-of-view of the women in the book, but it also made the book less personal for me.  Just as I got attached to one character, we switched to a new character.  It made me feel like an observer, rather than one of the characters. 
     I read the miscarriage scene when I was very sick and unable to leave the bathroom myself.  I felt as if the scene was happening around me.  This scene horrified me and I will never forget it. 
     One of the things I didn't like about the book was that we hear about how dangerous life is during this time.  We hear of people being blinded, beaten, and even killed.  However, we hear about it second hand, so it loses its emotional impact on the reader.  The women in the novel are taking a huge risk and nothing bad happens to them, only to other people.  This seemed contrived to me.  It also seemed to take away from their bravery because it made it seem like it wasn't that big of a risk, when they were truly risking their lives. 
      I was horrified by the prejudice in the book.  Unfortunately, I don't think we have come very far still today.  This book made me think about racism and the ways we treat people. 

1 comment:

  1. I listened to this book on CD. The readers really portrayed the characters well and took me into the book. It is interesting to hear your review, maybe my experience would be different if I read the book.

    There was not a lot of depth as you mentioned, but listening to the book really took me into the time period and I learned a lot too.

    Thanks for sharing!