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Monday, April 18, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

When I first saw this book and read it's synopsis, I wasn't too interested. The story was set in the 1960s  in Jackson, Mississippi. And at first glace it seemed like another book about the relationships of black maids and their white employers. This certainly wasn't a new story. And I'm not a big fan of stories set in the past either. I like my stories set in more recent times, at the very least they should be in the 80s. If the plot is earlier than that, I feel like I can't relate. And I've developed a habit of immediately disregarding it from my must-buy book list.

As chance would have it, I was browsing options at Fully Booked when I saw that this book was only P299. The other book I was interested in was P500+, so I figured I'd read this first. Obviously, I was short on cash too, so this book won over the other one.

When I opened the book to read the first page that night, I was riveted. It was absolutely spell binding. Kathryn Stockett's writing made me feel like I was there with Abileen and hot-headed, Minny. I felt like I was eavesdropping on Ms. Leefolt and Skeeter's conversations. I felt like I was in the South in 1962. I felt the tension of a society on the verge of a revolution. And I felt the impatience and the frustration of the black community struggling to assert their rights.

This book was number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. And it was USA Today's Book of the Year. After reading the it, I felt like the book really deserved both achievements. Especially the Book of the Year Award, it was definitely wonderful enough to merit that. It was truly beautiful story. The emotions are restrained but real. And the writing is superb. Plus, there's a bit of funny in there too. A very excellent read. I really recommend it.