Hi lovelies! I realized tonight that I haven’t done book club in a while, so I’m bringing it back! I’ve read lots of great books lately, but thought I’d discuss one that everyone’s talking about: The Help by Kathryn Stockett!
Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s, The Help tells the story of three different, fascinating women. Skeeter has just returned home from college at Old Miss with a stronger desire to write something important than to get married and have children, as all of her friends have done. Aibileen is a black maid that has developed a certain hardness since her son was killed but is still devoted to the little white girl she looks after and is determined to raise her in a positive way. Her best friend is Minny, the sassy black maid who’s known throughout Jackson as being the best cook with a sharp tongue and quite a reputation. When the three come together secretly for a controversial project, they start to let themselves believe in the possibility that things could change and end up creating something remarkable.
I loved this book! It was definitely one that I could not put down and found myself reaching for my Kindle whenever I had a spare minute. This book is about so many things: friendship, equality, values, strength, faith, support… the list goes on. Stockett is able to embody all of these things when writing in the voices of Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny and you are truly transported into their worlds. You find yourself laughing with them, hurting for them and feeling frustrated on their behalf as well. Although this book is fictional, it provides what I believe to be a fairly accurate portrayal of the South in the 1960s. At times, it’s hard to comprehend that so much hatred and inequality was present during some of our parent’s lifetime. Just like Skeeter wanted to do, this book really does show a different perspective and made me think while being a thoroughly enjoyable read.
When I know that a movie based on a book is coming out, I always try to read the book prior to the movie’s release. But like most people, I almost always enjoy the book more as I spend most of the movie wondering why specific parts were left out or questioning the casting. This was not the case with The Help. I think all of the casting choices were perfect. Emma Stone was fantastic as Skeeter, Viola Davis was the perfect Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny made me laugh as much in the movie as she did in the book. Furthermore, I truly understood that the parts of the book that were cut out were purely done so due to a timing issue and felt that it didn’t hurt the movie at all. This is truly a fantastic movie- it will make you laugh, cry and really think all at the same time. If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you, the movie is a must-see all on its own merit.
After the movie, my movie date (my mom who also read and loved the book) and I decided it was only fitting that we go to the Soul Food restaurant and split a piece of caramel cake! If you’ve read the book, you’ll know that Minny always talks about making her famous caramel cake and so we decided that it was time to try it! Our report? Caramel cake is amazing! I’m usually only a chocolate fan, but this was delicious and oddly, even better the next day!
I highly recommend both the book AND the movie. So go out, get yourself a piece of caramel cake or some fried chicken and enjoy one of the most talked about books/movies of the year!
-Have you read The Help? What did you think?
-If you saw the movie and read the book, were you happy with the result? Were the casting choices what you had imagined?
-Have you ever seen a movie that was as good as the book?