The Help won book of the year at the recent BBAW awards, and I have seen so many rave reviews that I can no longer remember where I first heard about it.
The Help gives an insight into the complex relationship between white families and their black maids. Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s this book examines the difficulties faced on both sides, but also shows the love and trust shared between them.
This is a fantastic book and I can only add to the massive amount of praise that is already out there. The characters are all incredibly well drawn – I don’t think I’ve ever read a book in which so many people are portrayed so realistically. Each character has their own flaws, but it is the fact that we are able to read their thoughts so clearly that makes this book so special. The conflicting emotions each person experiences when dealing with the issues of racial segregation are sensitively handled and I feel that this book will become a classic in the same way that To Kill a Mockingbird did.
The author’s note at the end of the book helps to explain how Kathryn Stockett managed to create such a emotionally rich book – I loved discovering the fond memories she had of her own maid and her thoughts on writing the book. Kathryn Stockett is most proud of the following line, so I thought it appropriate to share here, as it is a great summary of the book.
I’m afraid I’m going to have to be very picky now – the book didn’t manage to hold my attention fully throughout, and although the emotions of the characters were very clear, it failed to move me. For these reasons I’m only going to give it 4.5 stars. These are tiny criticism though – if you haven’t read this book yet, then you really should.
I highly recommend this book to everyone – it will be in my top 10 for 2009.
Is The Help your favourite book of 2009?
What did you like about it most?