Bandwagon’d: I read The Help, you guys.

So the entire world read The Help and unlike GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TRAMP STAMP and cetera, I actually heard from some people I know (Alison) that it might be something I like, and also it wasn’t of the violence-around-every-corner-mystery-time genre that I’m not really attracted to at all. (I’m looking at you, tramp stamp.) Other things: Amy Einhorn of Amy Einhorn Books (you know... the publisher of The Help?) came to NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute so… I felt like I kinda had to read her main moneymaker. (SIDENOTE: Okay, Tramp Stamp Dragonface’s publicist AND editor came into SPI as well [that’s Sonny Mehta and Paul Bogaards of Knopf over at Random House (THE MORE YOU KNOW, OKAY?)] but I just don’t have any desire to read a book that used to be titled Men Who Hate Women, and also probably I will eventually read the series, just not yet. Let me live in my fantasy world of corny YA romance and popular fiction for a while.)

But anyway. The Help, which originally I was really oh-hell-no about because of the dialect thing, which Kathryn Stockett deploys all over the place, was actually pretty good. I waited like two months on the library’s ebook waiting list, then I got it and read it on my phone. FREE BOOKS YAY.

Title: The Help

Author: Kathryn Stockett

So here’s the thing, you guys. I actually did kind of like this book. And by “kind of like” I mean that I liked it, okay? (With some caveats.) Here’s the thing. The story is actually really compelling. And it’s pretty well written, too. You almost don’t even notice the dialect. (Or at least, it isn’t obnoxiously in your face after a few paragraphs when you get into it.) And it’s a quick, emotion-filled read.

For those of you who don’t know, it’s 1962 Mississippi and racism is rampant. Progressive Emma Stone Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan wants to be a writer / in publishing [I know that feeling…] and also really liked her maid growing up, who disappeared while she was at college because Skeeter’s mom sucks. Anyway, she gets a couple other maids to write about racism in the South and also what it’s really like to be the help. Super controversial, civil rights, etc. Also privileged white ladies are a little Mean Girls, except instead of wearing pink on Wednesdays, they all agree to put new bathrooms in for the help so that they don’t catch diseases, so it’s a lot more racist. Anyway, The Help is a book about a book about the help. And also a book about the help. And stirrin’ up trouble!

Anyway, like I said, it’s pretty good. There’s one scene in particular between Minny and Cecilia Foote (the sluttiest slut in all of Mississippi because she has big boobs and used to be poor, which obviously makes someone the worst) where Cecilia has a [highlight to see spoiler: MISCARRIAGE] and it is just so viscerally written and upsetting and it will stick with me forever. It was really well done. I also really like Skeeter and Stuart’s thing and the way it pans out. Super realistic!

Caveats: I feel weird about this being written by a white lady. I feel weird about the dialect. I feel weird about how I like the purple and yellow together on the cover.

Otherwise, though, I was pretty into it. Probably you should read it.


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