The Help by Katheryn Stockett

It’s been a long, long time since I posted here. All this while, I had been busy pursuing my other hobby, knitting. I had a horde of requests from family members to knit stuff for them and I had to oblige. I love knitting things for others and get a warm, fuzzy feeling when my handknits are appreciated. I am still not done on that front yet, but I managed to read a book in between a pullover and a blanket.

The Help had been on my TBR list ever since I read good reviews about it on my book forum. A couple of friends seemed to have liked it. When I visited my library last week (which was again after a long time), I eyes widened when I spotted The Help on the shelf. I was so ecstatic! I came home and started reading the book right away.

The very first thing I noticed about the book is how closely it reflects my own life. I am a working mother and have to leave my baby in the hands of my maid or ‘the help’. Until I get back home, the maid is my kid’s primary care taker. While I am busy at work, the help is feeding my baby, changing his diapers, putting him to bed and cuddling him when he is down. As I read that book and realized how the ‘wives’ treated ‘the helps’, I couldn’t help but look at myself to see if I too am guilty of that.

The structure of the book is quite interesting. All the major characters take their turn in narrating the story in first person POV. It took me a while to realize what was happening and I would go back to the chapter’s beginning to see who was the narrator. The author has cleverly chosen this technique. There are some incidents which are privy to certain characters and if the author had made one character as the narrator, the story couldn’t have been told. And the story wouldn’t have been effective with the omnipresent third person POV.

The language is beautiful and the story touching. I was emotionally carried away by the time I finished reading the book. The book is all about having courage to stand up for a cause even when you know the entire world is against it. It’s about choosing your principles even if it means losing your friends. I don’t think I have the courage to do this, but I admire those who have it.

While the book is good and fights for a cause, I don’t understand why it went on to create the hype it did. I like the book, don’t get me wrong, but there is nothing so great about this book that every book reader I knew had to talk about it. I was literally flooded with requests to read this book and now that I did, I don’t get the point! I guess this one of those books which people get and I don’t! And there are many like that. Catcher in the rye, for example?

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2 Responses to “The Help by Katheryn Stockett”

  1. JoV Says:

    Many cite this as a good read and you more or less affirmed it. There isn’t many books that are narrated by the perspective of a domestic helper, I’ll surely try to get hold of this.

    I used to have ‘helper’, now I have none! 😦

  2. 2010 – The year that went by « What I have been reading… Says:

    […] Book of 2010: The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Unfortunately, most of the books I read this year were just average. Water for […]


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