Booking It with The Help by Kathrynn Stockett

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This year we’re Booking It on LifeasMOM. It’s an online book club designed to get you off the computer, phone, and boob tube and into a book. Reading is an adventure! You learned this long ago. But, in our older years, it is tempting to forget.

On the 10th of each month, we’re discussing an assigned book, one of the Eleven List. On the 11th there’s a link up opportunity to share all your reading of the past month.

This past month we read the book, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, an amazing look into the early 1960s Mississippi and three brave women who challenge the status quo.

It’s so hard to review a book without giving away the details. And yet, I would add this to the list of great reads for the year. So how do I tell you why you should read this book without telling you too much?

It will encourage you to love all people.

Whether or not race relations are a daily part of your life or not, chances are you feel “at odds” with those around you from time to time. The lives portrayed in this book are a testimony to the fact that we are all created in God’s image. There is a bottom-line level of respect that we are called to give to one another, regardless of our similarities or our differences. Being brave enough to speak the truth in love, despite the status quo, is a remarkable feat. And one I hope we can cultivate more.

It will remind you to love your children — and to show them so.

The novel is told from the perspective of three women in the turbulent segregated times in Mississippi, one white and two black. Through their eyes we see families, marriages, relationships, and motherhood. There are some pictures of motherhood that I don’t want to be mine. And by reading about those who are short-tempered or ignorant of their children’s needs and hopes, I am reminded to be all I can be for my kids.

It will show you what a first time author can do.

Often we assume that seasoned authors are the ones to read. Surely, I love to go back to folks like Jane Austen or CS Lewis who always take me on a great trip. But there is a world of great first-time author books, including The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and To Kill a Mockingbird. The Help fits in this crowd and gives us hope to expect more great things from Kathryn Stockett.

This was an amazing book. It moved me. It taught me some history I didn’t know. It showed me hope amidst hard circumstances. Can’t wait to see the movie!

If you read the book, I’d love to hear what you thought. Today in the comments we’ll be discussing this book. Feel free to leave a link if you wrote extensively about your thoughts on it. Tomorrow we’ll have a link up to share all Booking It endeavors from the last month.

So, what did YOU think?

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  1. My sister gave me two of the books you mentioned, “The Help” and “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” My brother brought them (on a Kindle) when he came to visit. We had been without internet, so I hadn’t heard of either book or read anything about them. It was fun going into a book having no idea what it was about. I knew they would be good, b/c my sister and I have similar taste in books.
    “The Help” was entertaining and thought provoking. I was also studying Civil Rights in American History with my kids, so that gave me more background on the context. I would recommend this book to everyone. It is an enjoyable read, but it also teaches you about history and it might challenge the way you view certain things.

  2. I read (and reviewed: “The Help” last month and would highly recommend it. I’ve passed it on to my sisters and my mom, I’ve recommended it on Facebook and my blog and GoodReads and Pinterest. I’ve even gotten into discussions about it with my co-workers! It’s thought provoking and sad and wonderful all at the same time and I’m so impressed that she was a first-time author. I was just talking about that fact with the hubby last night – actually, Guernsey came up as a first-time-author book, as well as “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” (which, if you haven’t read it, you should!).

  3. I don’t know how long this deal will last but, Books A Millon has the book on sale. If you go to there website on the front page it is states that the paperback is only $3.57. Also if you first go on and don’t see it go to the top of the page and hit the home tab and then it should show up.

  4. Read this book, maybe a year ago. Very good book. Some times the accent is a bit hard to follow. But all and all a good book. A friend of mine gave it to me and said read this it was good.
    I would recommend it..

  5. Such a great book, I read it twice!!! Once last year and again this year before I go to see the movie (which I honestly hope to not be disappointed). I thought it was so well written! I have recommended this book to so many people. I hope Kathryn Stockett will be writing for many years to come and will look forward to buying her books. I thought it was a beautiful story of making your own path and standing up for yourself. If you haven’t read it, go and get it!!! You will not be disappointed!

  6. I read this in May. I enjoyed it and would recommend it too. I believe the movie verision comes out this week. I only hope that it does it justice.

  7. I loved this book too. It was one of those books that was written so well you felt like you could feel the southern humidity and taste the sweet tea. I’ve heard the movie is pretty good, so I’m excited to see it.

  8. I bought the book “the Help” because there was 49 holds on it at my local library- that shows how popular this book has become. My husband was on a business trip to Atlanta so I bought the book and went with him- I couldn’t put it down and was glad that I really didn’t have to. The women became my friends and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
    As I read I started to think about those people who were working at what society thinks are the more “lowly” jobs and since we were staying at a hotel I was more concerned about being thankful for the hotel maids, busboys, etc and wondered if they were being paid fairly.
    I have passed the book along to many people and can’t wait for the movie to come out this weekend.
    This book is definitely a “must-read” book for everyone and hopefully will change the way we treat our fellow human beings!

  9. HELP. I am perplexed. I got The Help from the library, started reading it and was immediately drawn in. However, I could not get over the fact that I was continually having to “try” and passover the use of the Lord’s name in vain. I’m not talking about a trivial use of OMG, I’m talking the 10 Commandments use: ***dammit. After trying hard to ignore it (around Chpt. 7 it was used about 4 times in two pages) I had to give up reading it. My thought and question to all you wonderful ladies is: “How can we as Christian woman, who love God go around supporting (buying) and promoting a book the uses His name in vain?” I’m honestly not judging or condemning. I just don’t understand. Aren’t we to believe what the Bible says? And if that is true, the Bible clearly says not to use His name in vain. Even though we are not writing it ourselves we are reading it, supporting it and telling others (possibly non-believers) to read it. Aren’t we then saying it’s OK? I hope this comment is read as it’s meant to be read by me, opening a dialogue. Blessings.

    1. I can understand your predicament. Julie and Julia was like that for me. That book is atrociously filled with inappropriate language. I abandoned it after three chapters. I would never want anyone to go against their conscience to read or watch something.

      Personally, I felt that the language in The Help was not gratuitous, but rather in keeping with the characters and situations she was trying to represent.

      The book is rife with things that can (and sometimes should) make us uncomfortable. The world is a sad, confusing, and sometimes wicked, place.

    2. I have to agree with Jessica – I believe that any language that was used kept the book real and developed the characters. If the F-bomb was dropped (which I do not remember it being used at all), then I would have had to put it down. I do not use the Lord’s name in vain or swear, and I did not have those words swirling in my head after I read it (or while I was reading it).

  10. I loved this book. I read it almost without putting it down. I laughed, cried and shouted for joy through different parts of it. I have since bought a copy for my mom and sister and recommended it to my daughter-in-law as well. There is a long waiting list at the library for it. I am impressed that it is a first book for the author. I agree with you on the parenting part; it made me want to try harder and have a little more patience.

  11. I read through this book in less than 3 days. There was a wait for it at my local library but it was worth it. Great read and love how it was told from three people’s perspective!!!!

  12. Loved this book. Even *knowing* history, it was a real eye opener to me that this kind of thing went on so recently. Its too easy to think that was all ancient history. It was especially interesting as a Northerner who just spent three years living in MS.

  13. I LOVED this book. My friend and I are having a girl’s night out to watch it Friday! I hear the movie maker is the author’s friend from before they ventured into show business, so I hope that means the movie will stay true to the book.

  14. I did not read this book yet. Waiting for it at the library. Yesterday I read this post and there was one thing I could not get off my mind about it. The lines about patience for children. I am starting to run low after a long busy (for other people summer, need to learn to say NO). Even if it was a book review, I appreciate the reminder about my most important job and why I stay home. Always food for thought on this blog. Thanks!

  15. I read this book last month. I teach online community college composition classes and have to use this book in my classes. I couldn’t put the book down – it was excellent! I can’t believe that these things happened in the US and not that long ago! I drew so many parallels with evil things that have happened around the world and was stunned to realize that they do happen right here at home, too. I highly recommend this book and am very excited to teach from it.

  16. I’ve only just become aquainted with Booking it, so have some catching up to do. I did read The Help in 2009 and was utterly fascinated. I must be very naive as I did not realize that was still going on in the 1960s. What an eye opener. My library book club is going to go see the movie later this month.

    Since this is the 11th I can share a wonderful book I just finished, Cherries in Winter by Suzan Colon. She was laid off from her high paying job in New York and opens up with her observations of money, saving money and how her mother and grandmother’s survied the depression, world wars and not having enough money. She shares her family recipies as she tries them. It’s a non-fiction book and I thought it was well written, very observant and the recipies weren’t bad either!