The Help

by Kathryn Stockett

{ 2009 | Putnam | 464 pgs }

I would never trade sleep for reading a book.

Well, anyway. I did this time, like many times before. The Help, as you probably know, is set in the South in the 1960s. So of course it’s about race. There are lots of books like this. Unlike The Secret Life of Bees, I felt like The Help had a more original approach to the subject, and it was enjoyable. Unless you are cut off from both books and movies, I assume you know that The Help is about a young white woman and the experiences of black servants in Jackson, Mississippi.

While the book was enjoyable, I didn’t come out feeling like I’d learned any lessons or gained any insight (aside from the “Thank heavens for the civil rights movement” thought the author intends you to have). The thing is, I’m more interested in how this same inequality is perpetuated today. I can’t help but think that it must still be there – here? – in a different form. Don’t you wonder how racism still affects people now?

P.S. It’s been a little while since I read the book. Can you remind me why there are birds on the cover? Is that relevant?

Buy The Help on Amazon


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