Last year I read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I read it at the recommendation of a friend. It was a little difficult for me to fully share what I thought about it with her because my friend is white. Some of my coworkers read it too but even then I didn’t fully express my thoughts.
The writing and development of the characters I felt was excellent. It was mostly believable except for the main incident on which the ending is based. And because I’m from the South I love books and movies about the South.
The difficult part of reading the book has to do with my mother. She was a domestic. Most of her experiences were positive. I met some of the people she worked for and they seemed very nice. But the last family she worked for was not a good experience. She was let go because she washed one of my nephews shirts with their families’ clothes. This was in the 90s. I mean really? My mother didn’t say much about it but I could tell it hurt her a lot. Those jobs were tough because you always had to travel out of your neigborhood, they were low paying, sometimes longs hours with no benefits. But for some black women in the deep south they were the only jobs available.
Waching the movie was even harder. You saw their struggles, the vast difference between the neighborhoods and could feel the tension of the times with the onset of the civil rights movement. The book does open up dialogue on a subject that has had very little discussion. We usually keep these thoughts within our community.
I was happy for the black women actresses who got a chance to show the world how good they really are. But the pain of that era was resurrected. I don’t guess we will ever get over how painful it was. Our world is not perfect by any means and we have a ways to go but I’m glad that era is over.
If you read the book or saw the movie please share your thoughts.
- Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett (thesolitarybookworm.wordpress.com)