The Help

Thoughts  thbks The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Amy Einhorn Books/GP Putnam Sons/Penguin Group 2009, 451 pages

Five Pies


[The following was written immediately upon reading the last page and shutting the book…   It was last week and I only had my journal with me.]

I just finished The Help and, of course, I’m trying to keep the tears that are  welled up in my eyes from spilling down my cheeks and bringing mascara with them.     I glance out of the hotel window overlooking Grant Park and Lake Michigan and I blink and think

“hey -the sun is shining!”

It had been gloomy dreary cloudy grey all day.    I start to cry all over again.   My eyes are brimming too full; I’m choking up, snorting with snot-filled gasps and reaching for multiple tissues.

Because, isn’t that the point?    That we emerge from the darkness of hatred and racial misunderstandings to reach with hope towards clarity and bright sunshine?    To seek beyond the clouds for sunny skies?   As Ms Stockett says in the Afterword,

“… trying to understand is vital to our humanity.”

SO…   that’s what that sun-filled view spoke to me as I sat contemplating what I had just read in this book.   and now I’ve done lost all my poetics.

Quotes I jotted down:

p.29   “My face goes hot, my tongue twitchy.   I don’t know what to say to her.  All I know is, I ain’t saying it.  And I know she ain’t saying what she want a say either and it’s a strange thing happening here cause nobody saying nothing and we still managing to have us a conversation.”

p. 278  “I no longer feel protected just because I’m white.  I checkover my shoulders often when I drive the truck to Aibileen’s.  The cop who stopped me a few months back is my reminder:   I am now a threat to every white family in town.  Even though so many of the stories are good, celebrating the bonds of women and family, the bad stories will be the ones that catch the white people’s attention.   They will make their blood boil and their fists swing.  We must keep this a perfect secret.”

p.418  “Wasn’t that the point?   For women to realize, We are just two people.  Not that much separates us.  Not nearly as much as I’d thought.


You may recall that I have a pie theme going on here at Care’s Online Book Club.   I had even started including in my reviews any mention of pies that I encounter in the books I read.   Well…    If you have read The Help, you know that there is a doozy of a pie in this one!    That’s all I’ll say.

For some excellent REVIEWS of this book, please visit Belle of the Books .   [THANKS Jill for sending me this book!   I gave it to my friend in Chicago and she is going to pass it along to her mother in Arizona.]

Wondrous Word
p.263 peau de soie – a smooth, finely ribbed satin fabric of silk or rayon.

15 thoughts on “The Help

  1. I’m reading this book for my book club next month and I am very excited about it. I’ve yet to hear a bad word about it.

    Your review is excellent–very in-depth.

  2. I am SO interested in this one!! The problem is, I’m a pokie reader in comparison to Jill’s speed. She is my reading idol. :). And has supplied me with too many books already! Off to rad more of Lolita. Still in beginning first 100 pgs. I’ll stay in touch on this read. 🙂

  3. Good to hear this one’s a gooder! The elusive Chartroose sent me a copy over the summer but before I could even start it my mom stole/borrowed it. Then when I got it back I had it in my purse and my mother-in-law asked whatcha’ reading? So I showed her and she looked so interested I lent it to her. But since they’ve both looooved it I don’t feel so bad about taking so long to start it 🙂

  4. Care,
    I am so enthralled with this book!!! I’m completely loving it. I’m about 3/4 thru…
    Don’t know if you remember us mentioning that we should ask a girl named Kathy Scanlon to join? Well, I did, and she’s reading The Wednesday Sisters while I’m reading The Help, and we’ll switch. I’m leaving on 10/15 for Virginia, and need to swap B4 I leave! Hope we can do it!!!!
    Wow, what a story this is… glad you enjoyed it!

    Have u read the Wed. Sisters??

  5. Great post! Your first reaction on completing the book is so eloquent! That is exactly how I felt too! This is such a fab book.

    Remember you mentioned in my post comments that you weren’t sure either about what this cover means? Well, a friend of mine brought my attention to the song, “Birds on the Wire” that was recorded in the 60s. It goes “Like a bird on a wire/Like a drunk in the midnight choir/I have tried in my way to be free.” I don’t know, but that does seem to me like one more good theory on the cover!

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