Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Three Cheers for, "The Help"

Last year at this time my book club was reading the book, The Help.  I hadn't really heard very much about it.  I started reading this book and immediatley fell in love with it.  After one chapter into the book I grabbed a pad of paper and a pen and kept it with me through out the rest of the book just so I could write down quotes from the story.

Here are some of my favorite:

  • "You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important."
  • "Every morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.  You gone have to ask yourself, "Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?"
  • "All I'm saying is, kindness don't have no boundaries."
  • "Ugly live up on this inside.  Ugly be a hurtful, mean person."
  • "No one tells us, girls who don't go on dates, that remembering can be almost as good as what actually happens."
  • "The day your child says she hates you, and every child will go through the phase, it kicks like a foot in the stomach."
  • "It seems like at some point you'd run out of awful."
  • "Frying chicken always makes me feel a little better about life."
  • "I'm sorry, but were you dropped on your head as an infant."
  • "Got to be the worst place in the world, inside a oven.  You in here, you either cleaning or you getting cooked."
  • "I give in and light another cigarette even though last night the surgeon general came on the televeision set and shook his finger at everybody, trying to convince us that smoking will kill us.  But Mother once told me tongue kissing would turn me blind and I'm starting to think it's all just a big plot between the surgeon general and Mother to make sure no one ever has any fun."
The story is set in the 1960's, in Jackson, Mississippi.  It's about white women and their hired "help."  One of the white ladies, Skeeter is in her early 20's, and a college graduate.  As the rest of her friends are in their early 20's, and popping out babies, using their hired help to take care of them and their babies.  The story mainly focuses on Skeeter, a white girl, and two black maides, Abileen, and Minny.  The three of these women come together and write a book called "The Help" sharing stories about how the white ladies treat the black ladies in the town of Jackson, Mississippi.

I won't say much more to this story except that if you have not read this book THEN YOU NEED TO READ IT!  As soon as we finished reading and meeting at our book club I called up my Mom, and said, "We just read the best book ever!  It's called The Help and you need to check it out immediately!"  My Mommy did what I said, and she immediatley fell in love with it and then told all her friends to go read it.  After telling my Mom I then told my Boss at work.  Within a few days she had checked out the book and was loving each page.  Then between my Mom and I, we got my Sis to read The Help, and she soon fell in love with the story as well.

Well, as some of you may already know this book has recently been made into a movie.  I was not there opening night as I hoped I could be, but I recently found some time in my busy schedule to go see the movie.  Some of you may think that books should not be made into movies, but this book made the perfect movie.  It was brought to life on the big screen in such a way that it did not ruin the book, or make an awful movie adaptation.  I was so pleased with the outcome, and how closely Hollywood followed the book.  I found myself yelling at the characters, crying along with them, and laughing at their antics, that came to life even more in the movie.  There is one incident in the book that was very big, yet the detail was saved for the very end, and was only just a small part (trying not to ruin the book/movie).  However, the movie took this very big incident and glamorized it, if I can use that word, bringing it full force throughout the movie.  I was clapping at times because the movie had "glamorized" this major incident, yet small part of the book.  So, I want to say, well done Hollywood, well done.
Can I just give three cheers to this book, and three more grand cheers to a movie that follows this book so well.  Also, three cheers to first time author, Kathryn Stockett, who didn't give up on writing this book.  This was her first book, and she was actually turned down 60 times before anyone would pick up her book and read it.  What a great example of preserving.  Three cheers for sure!

Next book or movie on your list - The Help, I promise you will not be disappointed!  Now quit reading my blog, and go read the book or go see the movie!!!


Anonymous said...

Already saw the movie. I see movies, so I don't have to read the books. Hehehe. That's actually true. I'm glad you enjoyed both, though!

Okay, well, I thought it was a nice movie and all, but I got so sick of the crying and moping. I know this is totally heartless, but I could only take so much of it. Too sentimental for me. I did like Skeeter's character, though. Is she your new role model? You could totally be the next Skeeter.

I am also really annoyed at this movie because it made frying chicken look SO easy! Well, I tried my first batch of fried chicken a couple days after seeing the movie, and it turned out nothing like how yummy it looked in the movie.

By the way, I was dropped as an infant. My whole body, not just my head...BTW, tongue kissing won't make you go blind. It'll just make you pregnant.

Miss Jessie said...

Very nice Libby Sr. I guess you ain't getting no kids from me anytime soon then ;) Seriously such a great book and movie, would be a great Christams present... I love the fact that I was able to fall on the floor laughing and weep in the same movie and book, I loved it!

MinDee said...

Hey! I'm supposed to be reading this book for a book club thing. Do you have it? I'd love to borrow it if you do. I'm not reading this post however, I don't want any spoilers ;)

MinDee said...

So how did your mom and sis get a copy from the library? I called the library and they told me I could be 131st on the list waiting to check it out. I'm going to have to buy it I guess. It's on walmart.com for $8.67 paperback. And I did read your post now, it really makes me want to read and watch the movie.

Lucashell said...

I felt Like I was tricked by my friends cause I thought I was seeing a bridesmaid version for maids... Then I was told after I sat down with them in the theater that it was like Fried Green Tomatoes. Well well... It was a good movie don't like crying so won't see it again..

Linda Liebhardt said...

LOVED this book and movie! I read it, my mom read it, my daughter read it, I gave the book report to my husband and then we watched the movie together. Good stuff. Thanks for a great review!!