Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kathryn Stockett - The Help

Abileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, raising her seventeenth white child. She's always taken orders quietly, but lately it leaves her with a bitterness she can no longer bite back. Her friend Minny has certainly never held her tongue, or held on to a job for very long, but now she's working for a newcomer with secrets that leave her speechless. And white socialite Skeeter has just returned from college with ambition and a degree but, to her mother's lament, no husband. Normally Skeeter would find solace in Constantine, the beloved maid who raised her, but Constantine has inexplicably disappeared.

Together, these seemingly different women join to work on a project that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town -- to write, in secret, a tell-all book about what it's really like to work as a black maid in the white homes of the South. Despite the terrible risks they will have to take, and the sometimes humorous boundaries they will have to cross, these three women unite with one intention: hope for a better day.

Comment: I loved reading this book. I think the theme is never old fashioned and the setting is so real it can be easily seen (even without the movie to help) in our minds.
the story is told by three women, two black maids and one white yong woman. The three of them tell us things from their POV and all together it makes the most funny/dramatic story. I say both things because there are quite the funny moments but most things are sad..not in a "oh my God I can't believe this is happening", it's more like "this happend for real and I can't help feeling a bit sorry for those who went through it". It's a very thouching novel, it has several scenes where we can't just picture it, because it seems too farfetched, but we know, from hitory books and old movies and texts, it did happen. People were really treated like that. I guess humankind and every people has to find a way to be more powerful than the others, and racism is just that. Several sentences there made me think, made me see myself in a black woman's place, back in the 60s and honestly, it seems too harsh, too inhumane. Were all black people innocent bystanders? I know they weren't, but like all white people aren't perfect; things go both ways.
Aibileen and Minny are teh blacl maids who tell things from the black POV and their parts were often more difficult to read about. Like I said, some things are quite funny and even through their eyes, we see some happy scenes, but the book focuses more on the bad things, even when seen from a happy POV.
Each page in this book is a surprise, a literary delight. The author managed to write things in a simplistic, easy manner, in a fluid way that just make us want to read more and more.
The end...I wouldn't say it's bad, because it hopeful, and things happen in a way that allow us to imagine how it would be the future, but the overall sense of the story is quite sad, we always wish for more...
I don't regret having read it, I'll see the movie too one day, but right now the book is still fresh in my mind and I loved it. I recommend it to everyone.


  1. Então cá estou eu a visitar o teu blog ;-)

    escolhi este livro para comentar porque tenho ouvido dizer muito bem... este vou ter de ir à procura ;-)

    Beijinhos e boas leituras!

    Vpou seguir-te também ;-)

  2. Oi Ana. O livro é mesmo bom, eu gostei muito, embora várias pessoas mencionem como é triste. Por acaso tem partes tristes e admito que chorei, mas o final é de esperança, acima de tudo.
    Espero que gostes, tem partes fascinantes.