Book Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The best book I have read lately is called, The Help, written by Kathryn Stockett. I put it on my hold list at the library back in November. Five days ago I bought it home and stayed up way past my bedtime to finish reading it.

All the action in this story takes place in Jackson Mississippi from 1960-1964.

The story unfolds from the eyes of two black domestic workers, Aibileen and Minny, they spend their days cleaning up after white families, cooking their meals and raising their children.

Skeeter, a young white woman just returned from college, is struggling with the racial inequalities she sees all around her. As well, her mother would like her to be like her friends and settle down with a husband and kids. But Skeeter is desperate to become a writer.

Following her curiosity and passions, she becomes embroiled in writing a manuscript, which, given the conservative almost fascist views of the white majority, needs to be kept secret.

As the story evolves and historical events such as President Kennedy’s death, the 1963 march on Washington DC and Martin Luther Kings, I Have A Dream, speech, unfold, other events, like Skeeter’s boyfriends confusion, over the shortness of her skirt, and a scene in the car, when she listens to Bob Dylan sing the words,

‘…you’ll sink like a stone
for the times they are a changing’,

remind me that is wasn’t just the racist tumult in the southern United States but increasing liberal attitudes everywhere, that were turning the world upside down.

Dylan’s words, leave Skeeter with a feeling of relief like she’s “just heard something from the future.”

Stockett’s exceptional writing and engaging storytelling, are reasons why you should get this book. You will not be disappointed. I’ve added it to my Amazon wish list because I’m definitely going to want to read it again.

I’m waiting for the weather to return to winter so I can get out there again to skate ski. It’s been unseasonably warm, the roads are either pure ice or bare and I’m sure the ski trails are ice as well. Breaking my other leg or an arm is not on my to-do list this year or any other year in the future.

So, it was 7 degrees today and sunny. I managed to find enough clear pavement, less ice and snow, to run up Foothills Boulevard and back down Tabor Boulevard to the icy parking lot, where I left my car. I was mortified, well maybe only slightly irritated, when a woman dressed in bright pink, followed closely by a man dressed in black, easily overtook me. They looked like they were in their early forties and had been running, no doubt, their whole lives. I wonder if I’ll ever, but I want to be able to, keep up with them?

I’ve never been completely satisfied with my internet connection. In rural BC the only choice, often, is dial-up; however, I considered myself lucky when I found a faster alternative. Apart from all the good things offered by this small company, the connection, beamed wirelessly from Pilot Mountain, was still not fast enough to stream youtube videos. And, their equipment broke down a lot leaving us with no internet service sometimes for days. It’s particularly annoying because I depend on the internet for work (who doesn’t?). When we got a flyer in the snail mail with this offer, from Galaxy Broadband, we decided to switch. But, unless we want to get up at 2 AM (when unlimited bandwidth is allowed) there is not enough bandwidth to wirelessly stream movies from a service like Netflix, (streaming youtube videos is doable). I suppose I should just start getting up earlier ……