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Review of "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett
on 25 September 2013
A well-characterised story. The protagonists - likeable and otherwise - live and breathe. I enjoyed getting to know them.
I also enjoyed the references to real-life historical events (the slaying of Medgar Evers, for instance). Very educational.
I was glad to be reminded of the atrocities that black people could - and did - fall victim to at the hands of their white counterparts at any moment. Makes me so proud of (and grateful to) those who risked their own safety to change things for black people in America in the civil rights movement of the sixties.
As is shown in both the direct story and the indirect story, the relationship between white families and their black housemaids was more often than not complex and puzzling. A woman of colour, not significantly better off in her job than her slave ancestors, could come to be loved and adored like a mother by the family that she serves while still having to use a separate toilet to them, for instance.
So yes, I enjoyed all the above aspects of the story. All too often, though, I felt the story dragged, and as such I frequently found myself begging for some exciting and earth-shattering action. It never came. Essentially, very little actually does happen.
Character-driven and educational, but a bit too stagnant and slow.