Friday, August 21, 2009

Tab's Friday Fiction Pick- The Help by Kathyrn Stockett

The Help is a debut novel by Kathryn Stockett. A book that took up a firm plot of land in my heart due to its strong, if not defiant, female characters with their box-breaking, non-conformist, line stomping personalities.

"Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step... they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed."(quotes taken from the blurb)

Can I get a yeah from all the line-crossers out there?
"The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by and the ones we don't."
Kathryn weaves the voices of three very different, yet single minded women together to create a story I could not put down. I read this book in less than 24hrs. Possibly a new record for me.

But you have to hear from the characters themselves...
Minny- "Standing on that white lady's back porch, I tell myself, Tuck it in Minny. Tuck in whatever might fly out my mouth and tuck in my behind too. Look like a maid who does what she's told... I yank my hose up from sagging around my feet- the trouble of all the fat, short women in the world. Then I rehearse what to say, what to keep to myself. I go ahead and punch the bell."(pg.30 The Help)

Can't you just hear her? I can. And I can picture her too, standing there swaggering in the heat fighting both her attitude and those panty hose. Love it! I dare you not to love Minny and I dare you not to care about Aibileen.

Aibileen- "Taking care of white babies, that's what I do, along with the cooking and the cleaning. I done raised seventeen kids in my lifetime. I know how to get them babies to sleep, stop crying and go in the toilet before their mamas even get out of bed in the morning."

The sentences in this novel just beg to be tasted aloud. Poor Matt (husband) got more than his fair share of my best deep southern American accent and nearly half the book in his ears before I was done reading it.

Miss Skeeter is the 'white woman' trying to find herself amongst her married girlfriends, her parents desires and Mississippi in 1962. In the days where degrees were what you got while waiting for Mr. Right and Wonderful to come along and make you a house wife.

Skeeter- "My childhood bedroom is the top floor of my parent's house. It has white-frosting chair rails and pink cherubs in the molding. It is papered in mint green rose buds. It is actually the attic with long slopping walls, and I cannot stand up straight in many places. The box bay window makes the room look round. After mother berates me about finding a husband every other day, I have to sleep in a wedding cake."

I feel the pain Skeeter. After one particular nasty fight with my parents I nearly painted my pink and green abomination a dead black. Now I really wish I would have done that! I had the paint. I was oh so close.

And to top it off, Miss Skeeter wants to write. I don't think I would have loved this book anymore is she had tattoos and boxed her brother just for the sporting fun of it.

Not your average novel. Not your average characters. Not average. Not at all.
Yeah, I SO recommend it. :)

And, I am wondering... (as I do)

What lines do you cross? What lines have you crossed and what lines would you cross again?


  1. sounds very good, I want to read it.

  2. My to-read list keeps getting bigger and bigger. Thanks for the review!

  3. I'm glad you recommended it I've though of checking it out but hesitated. I cross lines everyday! That's my biggest downfall lol!

  4. Oh, I'm pathetic, I don't think I've crossed any lines! I enjoy reading authors who do, though!

  5. Of what you've posted here, I LOVE it!!!

    I crossed a line when I wrote a book about three separate women's experiences dating the same commitmentphobic man. I thought it was brilliant. Unfortunately, agents are apparently misunderstanding the synopsis to read they were all dating him at the same I need to work on that one.

  6. T. Anne, not sure line crossing is a bad thing :) Sometimes it can be positive hey.

    Lazy writer, I know what you mean. Mine too.

    Thanks Shell. I have a copy if you want to borrow it:)

    Jill, LOL, there is always today.

    Steph, well, I want to read that book. Silly agents:)) who are these people?!

  7. Great review! It sounds awesome. I'm not sure about crossing lines.... I don't think I have, but maybe. I like reading authors who do, though!

  8. I really want to read this book. Excellent review!

  9. Thanks for the comments Katie and Sarah.

    Sarah, does this mean you are back in the land of blogging? Can't wait to read you again.

  10. This book sounds amazing. Wonderful review. I feel compelled to check it out now. Women crossing lines? Nothing better than such stories.

  11. Thank you Lori. I hope you enjoy it if you do.

  12. My list of must bring books to my week long beach vacation is growing ever time I read your blog it seems haha! Yes this is certainly going on the list.

    My Matt tends to suffer the same fate of being read to.

    There is not a line I won't cross. Maybe I am just a little bit defiant but I too like to think of it as free spirited ;-]