The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Genre: Fiction
Subject: Civil Rights, segregation, racism
Setting: Jackson Mississippi
Main Characters: Celia Forte, Johnny Forte, Skeeter Phelan, Minny, Aibileen, Hilly Holbrook, Elizabeth Leefolt
Series: none
Dates Read: January 8 - January 18
Number of pages: 721
Off the Shelf (pre-2012)? Source?: yes, MCL
Category for 12 in 12 challenge: Geography, Extra curricular activites
This book had me swaying back and forth - did I like it or not? I purposely delayed reading to wait for the hubbub die down so that it wouldn't influence my impression. Then my book club decided to read it and I agreed to go for it. I was disappointed. I'd heard that it was an extremely well-written book and I saw flashes of that but, the beginning had me extremely confused about what characters went with other characters, and the middle dragged and was very repetitive. The ending left me with too many questions.

The story had numerous moments of excellence, i.e. toilets on the lawn, Celia in the pink dress, the chocolate cake, but they were few and far between. The characters were stereotypes - few were more than two dimensional or were used only for a particular aspect of the story.

And yet, the story held me, having me wish that somehow it was going to turn out differently and each of the characters would be redeemed in some manner so that their lives would be better. Maybe this aspect of the book is why I rated it a 3 star, otherwise, I probably would have gone lower. Just proves, all books are not for all people.

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