Have You Read ‘The Help’?

I’m thinking of doing a professional paper on reading particular types of books using Delores Williams’ book ‘Sisters In The Wilderness’ as the basis for analysis. Which brings me to ‘The Help’.

‘The Help’ probably fits into the types of books that I’m looking at, but I haven’t read it, so I have no idea. And to be honest, every time I’ve picked the book up at the bookstore and read the back-cover blurb, I haven’t been inspired to read it.

Have you read ‘The Help’?

If you have read it…what did you think of it? Would you recommend it?

If you haven’t read it…is there a reason you haven’t read it? 



6 thoughts on “Have You Read ‘The Help’?

  1. Haven’t read it, mostly because I feel like I’ve read that story from the perspective of middle class white people a lot. I suspect a story like that actually written by the maids would be worth reading, though.

  2. I liked it. Google the author – she was really inspired to share this story. She submitted it over and over and it was rejected, but she kept crafting it. My family didn’t have “help” and we would never think about it. So, the idea of it all is such a foreign concept to me – thus even from a white woman’s point of view it was interesting. And really – the story isn’t just about them it is about the women who had the help.

  3. I read it, liked it. Had some weird resonance for me because my wife’s family, at various points long ago and now had “help” – home child care when she was young, home care for the stepfather with Parkinson’s now.

  4. I read it last summer based on a recommendation of a close friend. It was a good read. I haven’t seen the movie yet. My one sentence summary of the book is that it’s To Kill a Mockingbird combined with Mean Girls with a touch of Kevin Smith film humor thrown in for good measure.

    The other book with similar themes that was recommended to me by the same friend was The Space Between Us. It is set in Mumbai and it also deals with issues of class, gender, inequity and power imbalance, etc that are covered in The Help.

    Although I haven’t seen the movie version of The Help yet, it looks like it would transition well to the movie screen for multiplex movie audiences. Although it tackles serious themes, it also have enough of a positive ending to work for multiplex movie audiences. I think The Space Between Us would require a significant rewrite to become a movie for mainstream audiences. That’s not necessarily a bad thing … the movie folks did a significant rewrite to The Grapes of Wrath when writing the screenplay ending. Ma Joad’s final speech isn’t Steinbeck but it works.

  5. I don’t read a lot of non-genre or non-fiction. I’m particularly careful about “ernest” fiction. Using “Help” is much less common now that it was in the previous centuries, except among the elderly. Most of this is due to improvements in technology. Dryers, microwaves, and riding lawnmowers certainly have reduced the need for Help. I’ve been fortunate in having had the opportunity to talk with a lot of folks who do yard and house work for a living, and I recall how long it took me to realize that when some folks told me they liked the work, that they weren’t just saying that. I have no idea what percentage, but it’s a job, where (if it works right) you get to pick who you work for, the days, and sometimes the hours. And there are folks who like to clean houses.

  6. The Help….. I haven’t read it….. didn’t think there’d be much else besides what was in the movie. The movie was fun (for me) but very romanticised, so that characters’ behaviors were obviously contrived for the sake of the plot. It was, I suppose, all fictional, but I’d be interested in reading the book if there’s a basis in fact. Because, then, I’d want to know more about the group of people who carried it off! A whole group of people changing their assumptions is always a great story. Bunny

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