‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett

22 Jul

Honestly, I don’t know what I think about this book, so trying to get my thoughts in order via writing about it can only help.

It’s not bad, the writing is good even though a bit hard to read for a non-native speaker like me. After a while I got used to the way the maids talked in it though and it was ok. I remember reading and getting into the style of ‘Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow’ was way worse, and it was a german copy.

The story itself didn’t sweep my off my feet. Maybe this is because the story doesn’t touch me personally. I never had a colored (I don’t want to offend anyone, I just took this term from the book as I clearly have no clue if it’s a racist thing to say or not) help, there are not as many African people in Germany in comparison to the USA. I’m actually sad for this fact because I blame it for Germany’s lack of good sprinters and the reason none of our athletes make it to semi-finals or even the finals in the 100m and 200m disciplines.

What Ms. Stockett describes is a touching story about what it was like to live in Mississippi in the 1960s. But it never made me want to race through the pages like other books did. It took me longer to get through this book as I anticipated. Only after I was halfway through (about 220 pages in) it, I did actually start to enjoy it. What kept me reading most of the time was, that I wanted to finally find out what awful thing Minny did to Mrs. Hilly and it sure did not disappoint me. Oh, and she deserved it.

But I cannot jump in with all the praises the bestselling novel comes with. How ‘highly reccomended’ and ‘immensely readable’ it is. I’m sorry I can’t.It was good but won’t end up on my personal recommendation list. Sure I was anxious at the end of what actually would happen to Aibileen, Minny, Miss Skeeter and the other maids that contributed to the book inside the book. But that was about all the emotion this story evoke in me. It didn’t make me cry or laugh.

It was probably an important story to tell for an author from Mississippi but it feels too late. I’m not sure if this is even an adequate description of what I feel but it’s the best I can do. Granted I have no knowledge of what it’s like to be black or colored living in the South or anywhere. Whether it is still an issue. I guess to a certain extend it still is and I’m sorry it is.

It’s ok to not like someone for their personality but never for the color of their skin or their gender or sexual orientation. But I already knew that so the book didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. Maybe that was my problem with it. There’s nothing wrong with it, just that it’s old news to me. I simply expected more.

We are all the same!

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4 Responses to “‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett”

  1. An Addled Moment August 1, 2012 at 02:59 #

    I actually really liked the book and read through it in about 3 days. The characters are yes very stereotypic but the silent rush for justice seemed like an interesting plot. It is a repeat of a familiar storyline but I enjoyed reading about the characters and the buildup of the story.

    • Wilhelmina Upton August 1, 2012 at 08:49 #

      It was a good book. Maybe my expectations were too high when I started reading. And it just took me to long to get to the real part, i.e. the built-up was to long for me. Thanks for stopping by to comment :-)

  2. caitlinstern July 22, 2012 at 21:24 #

    I’m from Texas, a part of the USA which is still very Southern, sometimes in bad ways. I’ve seen remnants of the attitudes of the books’ white housewives in people I meet. Maybe that made me relate to the story and hope that we all can be better to those different from us.

    • Wilhelmina Upton July 23, 2012 at 11:24 #

      First, thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on it.

      It makes me sad that there are still versions of the white housewives out there. I wish we could all be better with each other. The books wouldn’t have been such a bestseller if it weren’t for readers being able to relate to parts of the novel. And if it even makes people question their attitudes it makes me happy :-)

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