Okay, I haven’t seen the movie yet, and I think I’m going to wait.
I just finished Kathryn Stockett’s The Help a week ago, and honestly, I don’t want to spoil it. Maybe you’ve read it. If not, then read on.
Narrated by the main characters Abilene, Miss Skeeter and Minny, The Help is a tale of life in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960’s. Miss Skeeter, an awkward young white woman who aspires to be a writer, secretly approaches Abilene in hopes of finding out what happened to the maid who raised her. Eventually they collaborate on a secret book about what it’s like to be a maid in Jackson. In a world full of ladies’ league meetings, civil rights marches, and southern hospitality, the women of The Help find each other amongst the waves of social turmoil, and their stories continue to intertwine and bump around behind closed doors until the hopeful ending.
One of my favorite tricks by Kathryn Stockett is her ability to press small historical facts between the otherwise fictional lives. At one moment you’ll be riding in an old farm truck with Miss Skeeter; the next you’ll be listening to Bob Dylan for the first time. As far off as this suppressed southern lifestyle seems, Stockett’s notes at the end of The Help reveal how much her own life really did inform her characters.
I was caught by this book from the very beginning and finished it in a matter of days. The Help entertains, entices and offers you a place at the circle of unlikely friends. As for the movie . . . I think I’ll wait until it comes out on Netflix.