The Help by Kathryn Stockett
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Spoiler alert! Not major spoilers, tiny, in fact, but still...
I must admit I have a grudge against really long books. What happens too often is that all the action is saved for the last third of the book. This book fits the mold. And I can't figure out why certain things are included. I don't know what they add to the story. They might be interesting or shocking, but they don't seem to add to the theme. For example, why does Skeeter's mom get cancer, leading you to believe she'll die, only to miraculously recover with no treatment? Why does the naked man trespass in Celia's yard? It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the racial theme of the book because he's tormenting the white woman the same as the black woman. He's just crazy as far as I can tell. I'm probably just slow and not not picking up on some hidden message.
I'm also somewhat prejudiced against writers who write about writing. This book made it seem so easy too. Some big wig editor receives a resume from an unqualified girl from Mississippi and just gives her the opportunity to write this book? Very unlikely. I doubt Skeeter would have been the only unqualified applicant, so is Mrs. Stein writing to every single wannabe writer to help them follow their dreams? She doesn't seem like that nice of a person. It's almost as bad as David Bowie emailing what's-his-face on the movie Band Slam to tell him he saw his band on YouTube and wants them to sign to his label.
I do like that all three women are freed in one way or another in the end.
I normally like stories where people with different backgrounds are able to come together, but this one just didn't do it for me, probably because of my prejudices (Oh, the irony!) against long books and writers who write about writing.
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