Sunday, 11 December 2016

The Help [Book Review]

Hello there!

Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books
Published Date: 1st January 2009
Rating: 5 Stars


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Synopsis: Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women--mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends--view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope,The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

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Review: When I first watched the movie of The Help it was when it just released. Somehow, I was entirely unaware there was a book. Imagine my shock (and I have to admit, horror) when I saw that it was based on a book at the end of the movie? Why don’t they put that at the beginning? Otherwise, I wouldn’t have seen the movie, because I’m one of those people who always like to see the book first. But either way, it was too late. Which was why years after seeing the film, I finally got around to reading the book.

Immediately, I knew I was not going to be rating this book anything less than 5 stars. From the first page, the strong narration hooked me. The writing style is done right in the way as the character at the time speaks. The novel switches between three points of view, and each and every one of them is unique. The uniqueness in their voices glares through the narration and the change of style when it reaches their turn. And one author manages to change personality like that? I marvel. I marvel.


Another thing which left me marveling about this novel is how a non-black author managed to write about the black culture so accurately. I’ve never lived in those times, or worked as help, or known anything about pursuing that sort of life style. But if anything, I would believe this book to be one of the most accurate portrayals of what it must have been like. The suffering is engraved in these words. The way in which she writes about being entirely at the mercy of someone else. Having to say what you know they want you to say, even if you don’t agree. Even if you hate yourself for agreeing. Wanting to speak out but scared of the consequences. Wanting to break free but knowing that if you do, there is nowhere for you to go.

As a member of the modern day black culture, this spoke to me. I know many of my own ancestors suffered an immense amount for me, and people like me, to be where they are in society today. Books like this remind me of that, make me feel incredibly grateful, and makes me want to shove them at every nearby person so that they can remember and they can feel just like I did.


Not only was this about black culture though. There are messages in this novel we can lift from it and apply to life nowadays too. Moral lessons like: fighting against peer pressure and not letting someone with an elevated status than you in society affect your own choices. Being who you are. Not changing to meet someone else’s standards.

This book made me want to laugh. It made me want to cry. It made me want to write.



Most of all, it showed me how far we have come today since those times. It shows me how much more we still have to go. But books like this give me the faith that we can do it.

Please read it.

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Gif Summary: 


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Quotes: “Cause that’s what prayer do. It’s like electricity, it keeps things going.”

“We are just two people. Not that much separates us.”

“You is kind, you is smart, you is important.”

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: If there was one thing you could tell your younger self, what would it be?


Olivia-Savannah x

28 comments:

  1. Great review! I feel like I've heard a lot of mixed opinions on this one - but I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

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    1. I think it's interesting that it is mixed... I should read some more reviews of it to see what is causing people to feel that way.

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  2. I hadn't read the book when I saw the movie and I absolutely loved the book! Such a great read and reading your review helped me relive the moments and things that I loved. So glad you enjoyed it too. Love the quotes! :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Like me, I'm glad you could still love the book after seeing the movie as well. Glad it could be a little reminder <3

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  3. I am DYING to read this book. The movie was so good.

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  4. Great to hear that you enjoyed this one, I have heard so much but havent read or watched for whatever reason.

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    1. You really should - I think you would enjoy it!

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  5. Very nice, Olivia. I see that you saw my review of this book too. I don't remember now if I read the book or saw the film first. I think I read the book first. I do remember people were talking to me about the movie before I read the book, and one friend was telling me that he liked the "pie scene" before I understood the significance! :)

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    1. I did read it as well. The pie scene is one of my favourites and I absolutely loved the little twist. Don't know if I would have the courage to do something of the sort myself though!

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  6. YES! YES! AND YES! I've watched a little bit of the movie (and I'm like you, never having read the book before! I like to have read the book before watching the movie brcisdw it's never as accurately portrayed as in the books!) I'm so with you that this book speaks on a lot of topics and is important for everyone to witness! Now you're making me want to read it and watch it all the way this time!♡

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    1. This book is so relevant and moving and just all the things that people need to know in life. You definitely have to read it ASAP, girl! You'll just love it :3

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  7. Would love to read this book as I really enjoyed the film. Very glad you reviewed it, now I don't have an excuse for not reading it.

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    1. You definitely should read it if you get the chance to, Eli!

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    2. I'm just done reading it and I absolutely loved it. It has been a long time since a book has gripped me this much. Thanks again for recommending it.

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    3. You read it pretty soon. I'm so glad you loved it and that it could give you the feeling you'd long gone without <3

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  8. I have this movie on my watch list...hoping to read the book before watching :)

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    1. I hope you enjoy both and can get to them soon!

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  9. Hahaha! I'm exactly the same way...if given the choice, I would always strive to read the book before watching the movie. =)

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    1. You're just like me in that respect ^.^

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  10. Ohhh fabulous review! I REALLY need to read this book. And watch the movie (though, I am notoriously bad at watching movies, but if I read the book first, I might actually follow through with the movie haha). Seriously though, your review made me want to read it even more, it sounds incredible. Of course, I have heard good things, but I love how much it inspired you!

    Ah, your question. What would I tell my younger self? SO. MANY. THINGS. I would certainly unscramble a few eggs ;) But I would probably tell myself to stop being so hard on myself, and to take chances, most of all.

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    1. I think once you try the book, you might be able to get around to this movie. I can't recommend it enough though! That's some really wise wisdom I think a lot of younger selves could use :c

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  11. I really enjoyed this book and actually haven't seen the movie yet. When I enjoy a book and then watch the movie it always disappoint somehow. Books are the best. :)

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    1. Glad you could enjoy this book! Books are the best :) This is one of the few movies I did think had a very good representation though, so if you ever feel tempted... I would recommend it ^.^

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  12. I cannot believe I still haven't read this. Your review has me kicking myself

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  13. Hi, Olivia! I'm part of the Owls Be Reading book club, but didn't get around to reading The Help with y'all. I'm really excited to read it though and I'm thrilled you loved it! Happy reading! :D

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    1. I'm glad you're going to be reading it now, and I hope you love it too <3

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