Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Here is my first official review of a book. I know I don't read that much but also I am not new to novels. I've read some nice fiction novels that was for time pass and stuffs like that. I shared my opinion on how my read was but I got to tell you that this book really inspired me to write a review on it. So lets just jump into it.

The novel talks about the life of Nigras & the white people in 1960s in Jackson, Mississippe. White people being the rich community and Nigra women being the maids in the white's houses. The novel depicts the thoughts of the maids in a witty way. The main characters are 3 white woman, Leefolt, Skeeter, Hilly. (Well, I don't exactly remember the full name..but this should be enough to recognise). And the story revolves around the maids and there are so many, most importantly Aibleen and Minny. Aibileen being the polite and caring character and Minny being the typical southern girl (atleast as far as I know it) with a temper that she cannot control.

The white community comes up with this idea of constructing a bathroom for the black maids in their backyard and they are not allowed to use any of the ones in the house which are meant for the family members. And the white ladies have a campaign to acheive it in Jackson, Mississippi. The head of this campaign is Hilly, a very polished and strong attitude lady with money and power. And the other white ladies go abide with the words of Hilly. This is just to give a gist of how the story goes and how the maids react to it. And if you are expecting for a revelation or any kind of movement that gets started by the black maids, you are in for a reality check and this just makes it as one more want to read the book. So its all about how the white community treats the black ones. Ofcourse part of it is fictional. And yes you have to believe it !! People I really want to talk more about the story but I don't want to spill and spoil it. And I am always open to discuss about it in the comment section if someone already read it or interested in reading it. So let me know.

The author, being a white woman and born and raised in Mississippi has a very clear picture on what has to be said in the book and I could literally imagine every word that she said about the place, the time that the story evolves, the people and their thinking. It felt like as if I was right there in that space like a mute spectator watching the story. It was just absolutely amazing and a phenomenon effort of her. This is her first book and it is already a movie. No wonder. I regret that how I missed to read this book long time back. I've not yet watched the movie. Hoping to see it soon. After reading the book, I was curious about the author and was searching for her in the web and came to know very interesting facts about her. This story of hers was rejected 60 times before it was actually published which basically means that the writer edited the story 60 number of times. Crazy isn't it. I absolutely love the book except that there are parts where it was a little sluggish but nothing like I-am-feeling-sleepy kind. So I wonder if my opinion would be the same if I read the book before those 60 number of edits. I guess I just have to wait and see how her next book turns out to be.

The character I love the most is Aibileen. It has such a charisma. The story starts with her and ends with her. The way she was physically described by herself in the story was plain straight and practical. She is one of the unforgettable character for me. I just love and adore her. And the most favourite scene of mine is when one of the maids talked about the dead baby in her arms. Oh my god ! That was so raw and touching. I have a water connection in my eyes and no wonder I see myself crying at 2 or 3 places when reading the book. Just so amazing to recognise what a book can do. To rate it, I'll give 4.5 out of 5. The 0.5 goes for having a bit slowness in the middle of the story. I guess 4.5 for the first book is a tremendous acheivement. I am sure going to buy my own copy.

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