Monday, February 22, 2010

The Help, Kathryn Stockett

While reading this book I asked myself "why isn't the author going deeper into the violence and issues of the South during the Civil Rights movement?' 'Why such a blind eye to the depth of the problem?' Then, I started to wonder if it is something the author lacks... or, if it is a choice on the author as a way to portray the narrators. And, even if the surface is all that is scratched... does the dialogue that comes from the book save the lack of depth?

I would group The Help into a pile of books such as The Secret Life of Bees and Fried Green Tomatoes. Southern women, their maids, their purpose, etc. There is something very sentimental running through these fictions. And, sentimental isn't always a fault. But, typically, not a strength.

I never would have picked up this book if it were not this month's choice for one of the book clubs I take part in. After the first 100 pages, I assumed I would never finish the book. But, I found myself reading the entire book within a couple of weeks. While the book may lack depth, it does not lack layers. I wouldn't recommend it, but I wouldn't shoo people away from it either.


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