To kick off our reviews, we wanted to start a short review of some new fiction.
This particular title, The Help, is available in hardcover and is just over a year old.
Perhaps best of all, it’s on the Hardcover New York Times Best-Seller list,
meaning it’s currently 15% off at The Book Nook!
As with all of our reviews, you’ll see the critical information, along with the cover of the book, at the top of the review:
Title, author, price, page-count, and binding.
We hope you enjoy this brief review.
If this sounds like a title you’d like to read, come to The Book Nook and pick up a copy.
If not, stay tuned for new reviews from different genres!
by Kathryn Stockett
$24.95 (with 15% off, $21.21!), 451 pages. Hardcover.
Every so often a I pick up a book that I don’t want to end. As I get toward the last quarter of the book, I begin rationing the chapters to no more than one per day, trying to make it last. To fill in the reading gap, I start another book from my extensive “to read” list. Often, this is the kiss of death for the second book. As I’m reading it, I’m longing to be with the characters in the first book. For me, The Help is a “first book.” Set in 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi at the beginning of the civil rights movement, Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel is a compelling read.
The book’s title refers primarily to two black maids, Minnie and Aibileen, whose lives are focused on waiting on the white women with whom they are employed, cooking, washing, ironing and cleaning their houses, and raising their children. The maids are expected to work long hours with very little pay and no hint of gratitude from the very women whose children they lovingly care for as their own.
The characters’ voices are so real that I felt I knew each of the maids personally. It was as though I were in the kitchen engaged in conversation with each of them. The resourcefulness and courage of these women as they dealt with incredible adversity at the hands of their white-women employers is both inspiring and heart-breaking.
The historical accuracy of the book is a definite plus for me. One can read facts about historical events that are known intellectually to be true, but novels like this put the reader smack in the middle of the historical human condition, which, for me, is a far more powerful history lesson.
My only complaint about this novel is that it ended. I hope Ms. Stockett is considering a sequel.
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Patricia Donovan, The Book Nook, 6/2/10