Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Number of pages: 464
Rating: 5 out of 5
I come to this party late, after everyone read this book months ago. Still, it has moved me so much I can’t help but write a few thoughts on it now.
At first glance, one might think that The Help is about the separation between the maids and their ‘ladies’, or about the racism that existed so prevalently in the 1960’s. But, that is only on the surface. Kathryn Stockett explores the separation between husband and wife, regardless of color, as well as the separation between friends because of class or pride, whichever you prefer to call it.
No matter who you are, it hurts to be on the outside. It hurts when you are excluded from a set group, even when you tell yourself you don’t care. It starts with the children in elementary school who wonder why they aren’t included in the playground games, it continues in college when teenagers wonder why they aren’t accepted into a certain house of the Greek system, and it keeps on going right through adulthood when such silly things as neighborhood Bunco games, or sidebars in blogs, can leave one wondering, “Why wasn’t I included?”
Kathryn writes of a universal theme in a timeless way. Her book is pertinent to any reader regardless of race, class or culture. Most of us probably know what it’s like to be In. Yet, I’ll bet more of us have been considered Out at one time or another.
I loved this book for the story. But, I loved it even more for its meaning.