Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Help: A Review of the Book AND Movie

A modern classic, The Help has been a cultural touchstone for the millions of readers who have cheered on Skeeter, laughed with Minny, and hissed at Hilly. The noble and strong Aibileen has become a heroine for countless fans whose letters have poured in from all over the world.

Now that description is from Amazon and doesn’t give you much to go on, but unless you have been living in a cave the last year, you have heard about this book. Set in the 1950/1960’s this is about a young white woman (Skeeter) who takes it on herself to write a book from the help’s perspective. The black maid’s perspective. (or maybe that should say colored, or African  American, whatever is currently considered PC) This was something that at the time was dangerous, you see it wasn’t allowed for coloreds and whites to interact socially, was seen as wrong to consider the help a friend. Yet the white society thought nothing of the maids raising their children and taking care of their homes.

Being that I am young enough to not have gone through this time period, reading this book got me all worked up, rooting for Skeeter and wanting to strangle Hilly at the same time. I loved Aibileen and Minny and Mrs. Walters was a hoot. I feel so blessed to be living in a time where we don’t have segregation, we have civil rights, and it’s ok to smack someone who still believes in racism. (ok well it may not be legally ok, but morally it is) The color of our skin no longer dictates what our life will be.

The story is one many of my mother’s generation could probably sit down and tell you stories about, my mom actually did. When she was young they had a black woman who took care of her and some of the household chores because both her parents worked, so she can connect to this a bit more than I can, but I honestly don’t think anyone who reads this won’t feel a bit ashamed of how things used to be.

The book was made into a Movie and thanks to a coupon I had hubby pick it up the day it was released to DVD (as I haven’t seen the inside of a theater in many years) I have to say this is the best adaptation of book to movie I have seen in ages. I laughed, I cried, and I still wanted to ring Miss Hilly’s neck. (she really is a bitch) Very well done and sticking to the story with little embellishment, a true great addition to my DVD collection. Oh and just wait till Mrs. Walters gets back at Miss Hilly, laughed till I cried. You go girl!

So I suggest if you haven’t read the book or watched the movie, you do so. Then thank the stars that we no longer live in a society such as that.

5 stars from this reviewer!


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