Monday, May 31, 2010
Racism strikes at our hearts
"The Help" is an exceptional first novel by Kathryn Stockett. I haven't read a book that captivated me like this one for a long, long time. Well, in actual fact I didn't "read" this book at all. I listened to it being read by some incredible narrators. That added immensely to the experience. "The Help" is a story that takes place in Jackson, Mississippi during the early 1960's. Black housekeepers and nannies are known as "help" in that state. In this novel, a group of them are interviewed by a white journalist and their stories are compiled into a book. These stories will draw you in, make you laugh, make you cry and make you ache for the evil that is racism. I did not want to stop listening; I wanted to put my life on hold till I found out what happened to the women involved. A good book should make you a better person and this one certainly gave me a much greater appreciation of the race situation, relationships, friendships and much more. A minor take-away from the reading - one of the characters was in the habit of writing out her prayers every day. It ended up making her a better writer all round. I think this would be a great habit for me to get into.