"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Help

So, I just finished reading The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, and I'm pretty dang sure I'm the last person in the world to read this book:

What did you think? I always have a hard time with books that become super popular because then the hype builds expectations in me that I wouldn't normally have. That's why I didn't want to read this book. However, someone gave me this copy as a gift, so I thought that gave me a big enough excuse to read it. While I thought the book was entertaining and an interesting look into a world I'm not familiar with, I didn't find it as compelling as I imagined it would be. Drat! The writing wasn't as good as I expected, and I've read more meaningful pieces about explorations of racial division. I thought it played it too safe and glossed over things while pretending to expose them, if that makes sense.

That said, I'm still glad I read it and will probably read it again in my lifetime. I found the following explorations interesting:
  • The help know everything about their white families while the white families know hardly anything about their black employees. It's a classic case of dominance and subordination, where the truth is known to those most aware, in a position of subordination.
  • The hypocrisy of being an incredibly flawed person yet a wonderful mother...aren't we all, though?
  • Having a safe place and keeping personal and work lives compartmentalized, successes and failures.


  1. you're not the last person - I haven't read it yet either, for admittedly similar reasons. And I'm afraid I would be overly critical of it if I read it now, too.
    Speaking of books that become super popular, we just got the Hunger Games on audiobook to listen to while we do some projects around the house. Here goes...

  2. I really liked it. I read it before it became super popular. Or, at least before my friends started talking about it. So it wasn't super hyped for me. I also think I'm probably not as well read in books of that era as you are.

    Nonetheless, it was eye opening and powerful for me. You can read my review on goodreads if you like.