Book Review: The Help

The Help
By Kathryn Stockett
Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 2009

“This woman talk like she from so deep in the country she got corn growing in her shoes.”

I’m a sucker for writing like that. This bit appeared on page 25, which means that Stockett had me hooked for the rest of the book hoping more gems would pop up (they did). They were almost all in the Aibileen section given the way the voices were written, but Minny’s character was so strong and so richly drawn and sometimes so very funny that I enjoyed reading her too.

Skeeter’s section irritated me the most. Not at first, but toward the end, when the magic happens and the first draft of her book is accepted for publication and (apparently) published pretty much as is with very little fuss. That’s just not how the process works, and it irritated me to see that stereotypical writer-achieves-dream-on-first-try sequence play out in yet another book. (Yes, yes I know that the timing of the story required that the book publishing part had to go smoothly to preserve the tension, but still. It bugged me.)

But not enough to keep me from seeing the movie. 🙂


About Shala Howell

Writer of things ranging from optical network switching white papers to genetic testing patient education materials to historical fiction set in an 1880s asylum. When I’m not scratching my head over pesky characters who refuse to do things how I want them done or dreaming of my next book (which will of course be much easier to write than the current one), my writerly self can be found blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at, or musing about books and the writing life at
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