The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help by Kathryn StockettBlurb

Enter a vanished world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children, but aren’t trusted not to steal the silver . . .

There’s Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son’s tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from College, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared.

Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they’d be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in a search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell . . .

My Perspective

I borrowed this eBook from the library a couple of days ago – as I mentioned in my last post Kobo Touch eReader (and the excitement of being able to borrow eBooks from the library from my computer at home). I really, really enjoyed it.

The book is written from the point of view of three different people; Miss Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. Miss Skeeter is a young, white lady; and Aibileen and Minny are two coloured maids who are best friends. I really enjoy when books are written from different characters’ points of view. I feel it brings something extra to the book.

The story follows the lives of the three women and how through a journalistic desire of Miss Skeeter’s to record the realistic treatment of coloured maids, good and bad, they are brought together. With the threat of being discovered constantly at their backs; you experience with them the hope, anger, sorrow and triumph of risking everything to break down the barriers between the whites and coloureds.

Not too long ago, my husband and I watched the movie (which we loved) so i was familiar with the storyline. Even though I knew the outcome, it didn’t make a difference in experiencing the worry of how it would turn out.

The movie and book differ slightly however there aren’t too many drastic changes and I feel the way that the movie is different works well.  So if you’ve read the book, I would definitely recommend watching the movie and vice versa.

I’m definitely watching the movie again this weekend.

All That I Am by Anna Funder

Blurb

Ruth Becker, defiant and cantankerous, is living out her days in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. She has made an uneasy peace with the ghosts of her past – and a part of history that has been all but forgotten.

Another lifetime away, it’s 1939 and the world is going to war. Ernst Toller, self-doubting revolutionary and poet, sits in a New York hotel room settling up the account of his life.

When Toller’s story arrives on Ruth’s doorstep their shared past slips under her defences, and she’s right back among them – those friends who predicted the brutality of the Nazis and gave everything they had to stop them. Those who were tested – and in some cases found wanting – in the face of hatred, of art, of love, and of history.

Based on real people and events, All That I Am is a masterful and exhilarating exploration of bravery and betrayal, of the risks and sacrifices some people make for their beliefs, and of heroism hidden in the most unexpected places. Anna Funder confirms her place as one of our finest writers with this gripping, compassionate, inspiring first novel.

My Perspective

This is the first of the books i have read that sweet old man has lent to me.

When i first started reading this book there was something different about it that i couldn’t put my finger on. For some reason i felt unsettled and i couldn’t understand why. Then i realised. The book is written in first person. I haven’t read a book like that for awhile so i have become unaccustomed to it. Once i realised that, i was able to once again get into the mindset and everything was fine. Weird, i know.

This book really opened my eyes about what happened between WWI and WWII. Obviously it is fiction, however it is based on truth.

The story wasn’t so much a traditional beginning, middle, conflict, climax and end. It was more a flowing of events. There was drama, intrigue, and betrayals throughout that made it work really well. I think Anna did a great job in writing outside the norm and it not ending up like a dog’s breakfast.

If you love your history, this book is right up your alley. As someone who is neither partial nor impartial, i still think this is a great book to read. I’m not sure if i would read it again, not because i didn’t enjoy it but because it was quite real and so therefore quite sad. The heartache wasn’t something you can easily push away as being ‘not true’.

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few are to be chewed and digested.” – Francis Bacon