Monday, February 20, 2012

The Help, by Katrhyn Stockett

Whenever I can, I try to read the books that inspired a movie before watching the movie, but sometimes either I learn too late that there was a book, or even worst, I have no access to the book. Anyway, this was one of those moments were I got the book as a present, and hence I refused to watch the movie before reading the whole book. So this weekend I cocooned myself in a comfy chair and read, read, read. I have to say I fell in love with every character, flawed as they were. I enjoyed the fact that none of the characters, either principal or “background” were portrayed as perfect. They are real people with ups and downs. I loved/hated Hilly. I adored the way Celia is portrayed, all sweet, full of energy and just wanting to fit in, becoming a white paria without understanding why, assuming is her fault not the others. Now, the subject of racism is something that touches me deeply, being a minority ever since I left my country. In this book, you have black women in Mississippi, and their lives as…ugh, I hate the word…domestics. One person, Miss Skeeter, in her quest to be a serious writer, decides to write their stories, what is like to be them. At first this starts as a selfish thing, but as the stories go deeper and deeper, so does the relationship between the 2 sides. In theory you have 3 main characters, Skeeter, a recent college graduate, and 2 maids, Aibileen and Minny, that could not be more different the one from the other but are there for each other all the time. Now, this is not a white on black abuse, this is a men on women, boss on employee, friend on friend abuse. Even though the story is consider as fiction, some real events, such as Martin Luther King’s walk, and John F Kennedy death, but this is only used to set a more realistic view of the moment in time that this is happening. I like the writing very much, is flowing, with enough description of the environment for you to settle in the picture without the characters being lost in it. I particularly enjoyed the moment where all three women achieve freedom, one way or the other. Las night I watch the movie, and I guess it was a good adaptation. The casting, in my opinion is quite good, and I understand that some of the side stories had to be cut, but I’m always sad when the points of the book that touched me the most got lost in the movie. 

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