Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Help

Since college, I've developed an interest in reading for fun!  Yes folks, I've been trying to convince my youngest sister of this for years, but reading is FUN!  I set a goal for myself on my goodreads.com profile this year to finish 25 books.  I know that's not many, but for the amount of free time I have, I thought 25 was an achievable SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Trackable) goal.

Typically, my book flavor leans on the side of mysteries, but been I've trying to expand my flavor pallet.  I'd heard great things about the historical fiction book, The Help, and it sure did satisfy my taste for a change!  

Promise this post won't be a spoiler!  I had enough emotions stirred by this read I don't even need to go into my thoughts on the plot to talk about the book.  The story is about what it was like being a black maid during the civil rights movement.  

Obviously, many of us can't fairly say how we would have lived or responded to that movement since we weren't there.  But I must admit, that I kept hoping that had I been alive during this movement that I would be a Skeeter (not to be confused with Rita Skeeter).  Skeeter was the main character, and had been raised in a society that embraced slavery.  She knew in her heart there was something wrong with this concept and the way these individuals were treated, and she wasn't afraid to stand up publicly for what she felt was right and fair.  

I really enjoyed Stockett's writing style in this book.  Even though this was a fictional book, she did an amazing job of creating realistic historical reenactment, that really gave a clear picture of a day in the life of a black woman during this time.  The novel is about a white woman who is secretly documenting "true accounts" of the trials these black women experience and it really felt real!

Right from the start, you find yourself getting attached to the characters with the vivid picture that Stockett paints for her readers.  I really was most inspired by the fact that Skeeter made a point to stand up for what she believed was right.  How often do you find yourself just keeping your mouth shut or looking the other way when you disagree with something?  This book really spurred me emotionally to make a point to educate myself and have intelligent opinions. I'm not dwelling on any particular issue or instance, and I'm not trying to be pushy with my political stances or offend any readers, but all I'm trying to point out is that it's ok to state your case and stand up for what you are passionate about and what you believe.  There is always going to be a Skeeter close by that agrees with you!  

On a side rant, the one thing that does drive me nuts about boisterous, opinionated people are those that don't respect people who have opinions that differ from theirs, or people who have opinions they've come to with pure whimsical thought and not by learning about the issue and developing their own stance....kinda like Hilly in the book.  So just watch out all you Hilly's cuz you might end up eating poo pie and getting your yard converted to a graveyard for used toilets!