Audio Book Review: Help by Kathryn Stockett

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When you read some books, it takes you beyond the continuum of space and time to a land where the characters live.  You live with them, you feel their pain, you have tears of joy at their success and the fear like the one you will face.  Such a book, according to me, is a classic.  And I think this book is!

The story is set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963 just before the Civil Rights movement.  The Help takes place when segregation between whites and blacks was an important issue. Not everyone agreed with the laws of segregation, such as twenty-two year old Miss Skeeter. Skeeter had always dreamed of being a writer, so she uses her skills and beliefs to find maids to help her write a book. This book was The Help, which expresses the maid’s feelings and tells stories from their perspective.  It is a good description of the relationship of the women who raised the children of their white employers, who cleaned their homes, cooked their meals and took care of the family for years. They were not paid much for their talents and skills and usually stayed with their employers for years.

As I listened to the audiobook, the complexity of the characters were reflected in the voices of the 3 main individuals that spoke for the role of Skeeter and the maids – Aibileen and Mini.  The characters are so textured and complex, and they evoked a real emotional reaction from me as a reader/listener. I loved that I could love (or hate) these women so passionately, and these emotional connections I had with the characters made this book a rich and rewarding read.

Beautiful book – A book that will stay with you forever!  A must read.

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