August 4, 2011

A Review of The Help

I just finished reading “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, and I’m telling you, I couldn’t put it down. This book tells the tale of what it was like to be a black maid before and during the civil rights movement of the 1960s in racially charged Mississippi. It focuses on two maids, Aibileen and Minny and a twenty three year old white woman named Eugenie a.k.a, Skeeter. I won’t give any spoilers from this novel. But I feel it’s important to note that this book prompts the reader to open their eyes and look at what’s going on around them, question inequality, and advocate against injustice. You cannot come away from this book without re-evaluating your own interactions: in your communities, with your friends and in your own families. In its reading, questions of how we see people and how we treat the people around us niggle at our conscience and rest uncomfortably under our skin. This book prompts you to try and remember the words that come out of our mouths, especially when our children are around? Are they words that build others up or words that break others down? As we read this book we have to query within our minds and hearts if we truly open ourselves up to seeing the similarities between us and others or do we set up barriers and pre-conceived notions that are intended to keep the differences clearly in our view. This book addresses the intersection of class, race, gender inequalities and so much more. I believe that this book along with other notable ones of its ilk can be used as a starting point for discussion, and hopefully those discussions will help lead to understanding, reconciliation and even more positive change. After all, it’s only when we come together with hearts filled with peace and love that we can finally combat ignorance and hate.

Here are two of my favourite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King:
1. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
2. “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”

With these words, I send peace, love and blessings your way: to you, your family, your community, your nation; our world.

Comments

  1. This book has been on my list of “books to read”…your review makes me want to read it even more. I’ll have to pick it up soon! 🙂

  2. Can’t wait to read it. My co-worker just finished…now I can borrow it from her!

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