Remember me? From two weeks ago?
Last time I posted, I wrote “I’m trying to finish “The Help” as soon as possible and, if everything goes as I planned, I’ll finish it this Friday afternoon, right after my Geography exam, and I’ll post my review that day or the next one. Otherwise, I’ll only see you in two weeks.”
Well, yeah, nothing went as I planned. I got sick, then my Geography exam went pretty bad, and I felt I needed to recover on my next two exams so I studied like I would die if I didn’t. Yesterday I did my last exam, which means MARTA IS A FREE ELF (or almost free, I’ll explain that later on my next post, there’s no need in bothering you with details right now).
The important is that I have more time to read now, and I finally finished “The Help” – here’s my review!!
Title: “As Serviçais” (in english, “The Help”)
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Publisher: Saída de Emergência
Number of Pages: 463
“Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.”
My Opinion (spoiler-free):
I never doubted this was a 5-star book and I need everyone to read it! Actually, how did I not read it sooner?
The world that Kathryn showed us was a reality I was aware of, but the truth is that I didn’t realise it was THAT bad. And I bet the same happens with a lot of people as well.
This book takes us through three lives … three woman and only one of them is white. At first they seem so different, but they have so much in common! They want to change the way people think about black people, especially black woman, and so they decide to write a book about it.
The story is basically before the book – book – after the book, and we can see everyone’s reaction to it, because it is narrated by Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter. And those reactions were quite different …
We had «good» (white) people, the ones that actually liked their maids, and didn’t want them to leave, and treated them well and all; we had «good» (black) people, whom were SO NICE to Skeeter, when she was writing the book, I got really happy when I saw their reaction to it (of course they were afraid at first, but then they started to embrace the idea); and we had «bad» (white) people, and I just wanted them to leave forever, because they were really mean! Hilly just hit my nerves too many times. And the fact that we still have people like that: people who think they are better than others, who discriminates, who influences others to discriminate too … that’s why I think this is a vital read.
My favorite characters are definitely Minny (because of her personality and strenght), Aibileen and Skeeter (because somehow they both fought for their dreams) and Mae Mobley (and the girl was just a baby, a white baby, but she loved Aibileen with all her heart and was probably one of the most kindest characters here, along with Celia). And I know I said Hilly pissed me off, but I loved reading about her, because SHE DESERVED EVERYTHING SHE GOT (was that too much?).
Okay, now there may be spoilers …
And the only thing I didn’t like in the book was that it ended. One minute, you have story, in the other, the end. Just like that! I wanted more! I wanted to know what happens to Aibileen. What did she do with her life? Perhaps she only worked at the Jackson Journal, or maybe she found another work … And Minny, what did she become, now that she decided she didn’t need her husband? And Skeeter, did she married someone? After Stuart, she definitely deserved someone decent (never liked him, by the way). And I would LOVE to know how Mae Mobley grew up … what did she become, if she followed Aibileen’s advices, if they met again …
And what I truly loved was that last few pages, where the author talks about how her life and experiences influenced her to write the book.
End of spoilers, I hope …
And the references in this book! And the quotes! I marked some stuff I liked, but I wanted to mark the entire book! I’ll leave some of them here, but read at your own risk (I got them from Goodreads).
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
“Once upon a time they was two girls,” I say. “one girl had black skin, one girl had white.”
Mae Mobley look up at me. She listening.
“Little colored girl say to little white girl, ‘How come your skin be so pale?’ White girl say, ‘I don’t know. How come your skin be so black? What you think that mean?’
“But neither one a them little girls knew. So little white girl say, ‘Well, let’s see. You got hair, I got hair.'”I gives Mae Mobley a little tousle on her head.
“Little colored girl say ‘I got a nose, you got a nose.'”I gives her little snout a tweak. She got to reach up and do the same to me.
“Little white girl say, ‘I got toes, you got toes.’ And I do the little thing with her toes, but she can’t get to mine cause I got my white work shoes on.
“‘So we’s the same. Just a different color’, say that little colored girl. The little white girl she agreed and they was friends. The End.”
Baby Girl just look at me. Law, that was a sorry story if I ever heard one. Wasn’t even no plot to it. But Mae Mobley, she smile and say, “Tell it again.”
“Frying chicken always makes me feel a little better about life.”
“We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.”
And I’ll stop here, otherwise, I’ll write the entire book!
Well, I’m pretty happy with this reading. I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it, because I didn’t have much time to read this month, and this was kind of a big book. But it turned out very good.
Just watched the movie and it was totally worth the time! The book was better, of course, because they changed so much things, mostly details, in the movie, but I liked some of the new stuff, like that moment between Skeeter and her mother (after Hilly found out about the book). I loved to see this book, which is now one of my favorites, come to life. I laughed with the movie as much as I did with the book, and I think the cast was great. They all passed the message perfectly! The only reason I’m not giving 5 stars is because I always get annoyed with the lack of something from the book (if I had watched the movie before I read the book, I would certainly give 5 stars).
What about you? Have you read/watch “The Help”? What did you think?
Now that I’ve finished “The Help”, I can focus on my unread books. My Summer TBR should be up really soon. See ya! 🙂