Thursday, June 10, 2010
A quick Booking It update...
First recommended by another Booking It participant, I thought this book sounded great from the first mention. I quickly put myself on the waiting list at our local library. I took my kiddo and niece into the library for Story Hour last Thursday and renewed a couple other books and then found a quiet corner to read. As I was leaving a little while later - the girls from the front desk hollered at me and said a book I had requested was ready (in the 45 minutes between renewing my books and leaving) and it was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited!
If you've read any Jodi Picoult then you've seen this style of writing...several people (in this case three women) telling the story every few chapters...each woman's story intertwining with the other stories. A #1 New York Times bestseller - this book is extremely well written and for me...is so hard to even wrap my mind around.
Three women, Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny are living in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962...not all that extraordinary until you realize Skeeter is white and Aibileen and Minny are black and are maids for Skeeter's friends. And Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960's was not a friendly place to be for blacks or anyone who supported the movement of equality between blacks and whites.
Now...I don't claim to be a genius or to hide away from things that happened in the past or even currently but I sometimes have a hard time wrapping my mind around things. Events like 9/11 or Katrina hit me but I can't totally comprehend what happened in these places. I know about them because I'm a big news hound and will stay glued to the TV, newspapers and news websites for hours on end but really...unless you are there and experiencing it - how can one truly understand?
This book is the same thing...I know the history of the United States and slavery and how poorly blacks were treated but really? In 1962? This was happening? Really!? My mom was 10-years-old in 1962 and for some reason I just can't see my family having a maid (well, for one they were poor and for two they lived in Northern Indiana) and maybe if they had lived in Mississippi they would have but to me 1962 doesn't seem that long ago and it seems like the kind of treatment that happened in this book should have been long over...but I also know that it still happens - even today in 2010. It is just hard for me to even understand.
The flap says, "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."
An incredibly moving story...this is one book you shouldn't miss and one book you won't be able to put down until you've read every single page.