I wonder…if my housekeeper, my nanny, and my cook got together and wrote a book about me, what would it say? Would I be one of the happy stories, or would I make people growl and cringe?
This book definitely struck a chord with me. I know what it’s like to have household help. It wasn’t in the southern states; it was in Africa. But still, I’ve sat around those tables with all those women and listened to them complain and whine about their help. I’ve heard the stories of the different maids they’ve had that have stolen and been lazy. I’ve known women who were so completely distrustful of their help, they sat around watching and just waiting for something to come up missing–anything at all– and then they’d go on a rampage and fire every single person on their staff, and hire new ones…ending up with the same problem over and over and over. I’ve seen the prejudice that goes both ways. Oh, it’s still there.
I’ve also seen the other side of the coin. I’ve seen people who give half their house to their staff. Who love them and treat them with respect and concern. I’ve seen ladies who set themselves up to help–with lists of maids out of work so they can give references at a drop of the hat. I’ve seen ladies set up ways to showcase the talents of these maids outside of the workplace. I knew of a lady who had a maid who was sick–and instead of just sending her home, she drove that maid to the hospital. The rain was pouring down, and the last stretch to the hospital was a swamp of mud that was impassable by any vehicle. The maid was so sick she couldn’t stand, so my friend got out of her car, and carried her maid the rest of the way to the hospital. Wow.
About halfway through the book, I admit I wanted to throw it away because I thought I knew where it was headed. Everyone wants to paint some stark ‘reality’ picture and make us all feel sad and empathetic. I hate reading those books where I finish it and there’s this awful bitter aftertaste in my mouth. But I’m glad I finished it. I didn’t feel bitter and unhappy when I finished. This book is not negative toward any race. To me, the whole tone of this book was hope. Hope that we can see past stereotypes and just love. Hope that we can just be good to each other no matter our situation in life. Who cares if you’re a maid? Just do the best you can. Who cares if you have your own household help? Be kind and do the best you can.
Audiobook Review by Amber: The audiobook of The Help deserves five stars. The four narrators are funny, endearing, sincere, and daring, just like the characters they represent. This audiobook illustrates what Orson Scott Card once said–that the best form of a story is an audiobook. If you enjoyed the movie or you enjoyed reading the actual book, the audiobook is even better.
There is quite a bit of language filtered through. It’s not so much that it’s overbearing, but it is definitely there. There are no ‘rated R’ words. There are a lot of horrible racial slurs and crude references.
There is one awful scene with a miscarriage that was a bit grotesque. And one scene where a naked man attacks a house of some women that really made me squirm. That part became a bit brutal (not the man, but the woman who beats him! Ha!) Much of the violence is not just physical, but mental.
Mature Subject Matter:
There are a lot of mature themes such as drunks and abuse, racial prejudice, cancer, loneliness, loss of loved ones, hate crimes (including shootings, hangings, slander, beatings), etc.
Alcohol / Drug Use: