I LOVED THIS BOOK.
This was the first book I've read in a very long time (maybe since college?) that I could tell was actual literature. I read quickly, and can fly through pop fiction rather quickly, but I found myself taking the time to absorb each page, paragraph, and sentence while reading.
This book was not just well-written, it was crafted. I have no doubt that it will live on for generations to come, and become assigned reading.
Thank you to everyone who wrote in suggesting The Help. If you haven't yet had the opportunity to finish the book, you might want to steer clear of the discussion. I'd hate to inadvertently spoil anything for you.
Tonight at 5pm Pacific, I'll be leading a live Twitter discussion @stephanieodea under the hashtag #thehelp. I hope to see you!
in the mean time, here are a few thoughts to get your brain buzzing:
1) I usually don't like books where the point of view shifts. I get distracted easily while reading and quickly get lost. This was not the case with this book, and I loved how Stockett stuck with the same point of view for a few chapters at a time before switching. I had no trouble following along, and marveled at how well the story unfolded through each character.
2) I sometimes get bogged down with dialect. I have skimmed pages before, waiting for the dialect to end so I could just "get back to the story." Not here. I don't know if this is an authentic interpretation of southern dialect in the fifties (some cranky Amazon reviewers said it isn't) or not, and I honestly don't care. It was perfect to me. I could read and understand it and I could hear the voices in my head. That's good enough for me!
3) I found that I could relate to all of the main characters, and rooted for them in different ways.
I related to Skeeter the most. I know what it's like to gnaw at your fingernails waiting for weeks to hear back from faceless NY publishers, I understood her relationship with her mother, I often have the "I don't fit in here" feeling she does in social situations, and I loved the way she handled the Miss Myrna job of faking her way through it.
What about you? What were your impressions of the book, and which character resonated the most with you?
new recipe: Boston (book club) Tea Punch