Friday, December 16, 2011

Review of "The Help"

For the readers:
     The Help sure helped me! Now I understand a new side of America's past.
     Miss Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan challenges the conventional ideas of being a white woman during her time- and her friends don't like it. All Mrs. Phelan wants is for Skeeter to find a husband. Skeeter wants to be a writer more than anything else. Even more than getting married. This desire fuses with another deeper one as she finds her perfect subject: life from a black maid's perspective. Now all she needs is the maid.
     Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi. All black women are maids without exception. Aibileen's job, besides cleaning a white woman's house, it taking care of the white children living there. Her current child, Mae Mobley, adores her. It's not the most satisfying life, however.  If she takes the huge risk writing with Miss Skeeter, she could change her entire life.
     Nobody wants to mess with Minny. That's a fact. With her tongue, it's no surprise she can't keep a cleaning job. Her home life, though...that's the surprise. Not to mention the home life of her newest employer. Minny has to decide whether to take the risk with her best friend Aiblileen, or to settle for her own awful life.
     The Help takes a really good look at a huge problem in America. A lot of books do this, but the three sassy narrators separate this book from the pack.
For the writers:
     Voice! This book is the perfect example of strong character voices. I'll be talking about voice in some point during the future, but for now, read this book and you'll understand what voice is. Aibileen's, Skeeter's, and Minny's voices are so perfect, you can picture the characters in your mind.
     The other thing this book taught me, as a writer, is that all really good books have a purpose. In The Help the author shows the maid's perspective in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi. This hasn't been done much or well. This book accomplishes it's purpose really well.

The movie:
     If you haven't seen the movie, I recommend it highly. It's a winner for sure. Check out this hilarious trailer!


  1. Nice informative post ! I have not read this yet, but I own the book and plan to read it - it sounds even more interesting to me after reading your review.

  2. Hey Kathy! Thanks for reading the post! It's one of the most entertaining books I've ever read.