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Three Ordinary Women Are About To Take One Extraordinary StepTwenty Two Year Old Skeeter Has Just Returned Home After Graduating From Ole Miss She May Have A Degree, But It Is , Mississippi, And Her Mother Will Not Be Happy Till Skeeter Has A Ring On Her Finger Skeeter Would Normally Find Solace With Her Beloved Maid Constantine, The Woman Who Raised Her, But Constantine Has Disappeared And No One Will Tell Skeeter Where She Has GoneAibileen Is A Black Maid, A Wise, Regal Woman Raising Her Seventeenth White Child Something Has Shifted Inside Her After The Loss Of Her Own Son, Who Died While His Bosses Looked The Other Way She Is Devoted To The Little Girl She Looks After, Though She Knows Both Their Hearts May Be BrokenMinny, Aibileen S Best Friend, Is Short, Fat, And Perhaps The Sassiest Woman In Mississippi She Can Cook Like Nobody S Business, But She Can T Mind Her Tongue, So She S Lost Yet Another Job Minny Finally Finds A Position Working For Someone Too New To Town To Know Her Reputation But Her New Boss Has Secrets Of Her OwnSeemingly 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 CrossedIn Pitch Perfect Voices, Kathryn Stockett Creates Three Extraordinary Women Whose Determination To Start A Movement Of Their Own Forever Changes A Town, And The Way Women, Mothers, Daughters, Caregivers, Friends, View One Another A Deeply Moving Novel Filled With Poignancy, Humor, And Hope, The Help Is A Timeless And Universal Story About The Lines We Abide By, And The Ones We Don T Jacket Flap I know what a froat is and how to fix it Aibileen Clark knows how to cure childhood illnesses and how to help a young aspiring writer write a regular household hints column for the local paper But she s struggling mightily to deal with grief over the death of her 20 something son, and she SURE doesn t think conditions will ever improve for African American domestic engineering servants in early 1960s Jackson, Mississippi or anywhere else in the South Aibileen s good friend Minny has been a maid since she was very young, and on the first day of her first job her mother admonished her that sass mouth, especially her degree of it, is highly dangerous but it s not long before she s just gotta mouth off.and look for another job As Minny s first episode of the book opens, she is yet again looking for a new job, and this time an opportunity pretty much falls into her lap Celia Foote needs a domestic engineer, but she also needs a friend, a real ally, even a confidante Oh, one thing she needs to keep Minny a secret, at least for a while I think this plotline was my favorite part Celia s husband had formerly gone with even been engaged to somebody else did any of you wonder how they would have gotten along if he had married her instead of Celia But, really, which is the worse attack from Minny a good sass mouthin or a good slice of her extra special chocolate revenge pie Thanks for reading. I have this terrible, dreary feeling in my diaphragm area this morning, and I m not positive what it s about, but I blame some of it on this book, which I am not going to finish I have a friend who is mad at me right now for liking stupid stuff, but the thing is that I do like stupid stuff sometimes, and I think it would be really boring to only like smart things What I don t like is when smart or even middle brained writers take an important topic and make it petty through guessing about what they don t know I can list you any number of these writers who would be fine if they weren t reaching into topics about which they have no personal experience incidentally, all writers I m pretty sure my angry friend loves For example, The Lovely Bones, The Kite Runner, Water for Elephants, Memoirs of a Geisha, etc These are the books for which I have no patience, topics that maybe someone with imagination or self awareness could have written about compassionately, without exploiting the victimization of the characters They re books that hide lazy writing behind a topic you can t criticize The Help is one of these.You ve got this narrative telephone game in this book The telephone game is pretty fun sometimes, and it is really beautiful in monster stories like Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights because what they are telling me is not intended as trustworthy or earnest All of the seriousness in monster stories is an impression or an emotion reflected back through the layers of narrative I don t feel that way about the topic of The Help, though In this book, a white woman writes from the point of view of a black woman during the Civil Rights movement, who overhears the conversations of white women It s an important topic, and I don t want to hear it through untrustworthy narrators.So, I can basically get on board with the dialect of the black maids, but what throws me off as a reader is when the black maid is quoting the white women and they re all speaking perfect English without a trace of an accent It becomes particularly weird when one of the black maids starts to comment on the extreme accent of one of the white women, Celia Foote, whose written dialogue continues to be impeccable Who is this narrator Why does she choose not to speak proper English if she can speak it Why does she choose to give proper English to someone else who she has told me doesn t speak it Also, usually the layers of narration in a telephone game book are only within the book In this case, it s the author s voice stabbing through the story I am convinced it is her whose brain hears the white woman speaking TV English, and the black women speaking in dialect It gives away the game Even the quotes from the movie have an example of this A conversation between her and Minnie goes like this Celia Foote They don t like me because of what they think I did.Minny Jackson They don t like you cause they think you white trash Celia speaks in a proper sentence, but Minny misses the are in the second part of the sentence Celia says because, but Minny says cause If the reader were supposed to understand that Celia does not speak in dialect, that would make sense, but since it specifically states that she does, it doesn t make sense.To attempt to be clear, I didn t have a problem that the book was in dialect I had a problem that the book said, This white woman speaks in an extreme dialect, and then wrote the woman s dialog not in dialect Aerin points out in message 111 that I am talking about eye dialect, which is about spelling, not pronunciation, as in the example above Everyone, in real life, speaks in some form of non standard English Though I have seen some really beautiful uses of eye dialect, as Aerin points out, writers typically use it to show subservience of characters or that they are uneducated, which often has racist overtones If it troubles you that I m saying this, and you would like to comment on this thread, you may want to read other comments because it is likely someone has already said what you are going to say.I m not finishing this one, and it s not because I think people shouldn t like it, but rather because I m almost 100 pages in and I can see the end, and it s failed to engage me When a few IRL friends have asked what I thought of the book and I said I didn t care for it, they have told me that I am taking it too seriously, that it is just a silly, fluff book, not a serious study of Civil Rights Again, I don t have a problem with stupid books, but when it s a stupid book disguised as an Important Work of Cultural History, all I want to do the whole time is tear its mask off And a book about Civil Rights is always important cultural history to me Anyway, the book becomes unpleasant I become unpleasant it s bad news If you loved this book, though, or, really, even if you hated it I would recommend Coming of Age in Mississippi I think that book is one of the important records of American history Plus, it s beautifully written, inspirational, and shocking It s been years since I read it, so I might be giving it an undeserved halo, but I can t say enough good things about it.INDEX OF PROBLEMS WITH THIS REVIEW You should finish the book before you talk about it comment 150 second paragraph comments 198 and 199 Stockett did experience the Civil Rights Era comment 154 comment 343 The author of The Lovely Bones was raped comment 190 The author of The Kite Runner is from Afghanistan comment 560 Memoirs of a Geisha is accurate and not comparable to The Help comment 574 Don t be so critical comment 475 Have you written a bestseller comment 515 Fiction doesn t have to be a history lesson comments 157 through 162 Having grown up in the South during this era and having had a maid, I could relate to the emotional nuances of this book comments 222 and 223 Minny and Aibileen are relatable comment 626 You are trying to silence authors comment 317 and comments 306 through 316 Why do you want to read a Civil Rights book about racism and hatred I would prefer one about friendship and working together comment 464 Why are there so many votes for such a half assed review comment 534 Authors can write outside of their personal experiences comments 569 through 587. I was uncomfortable with the tone of the book I felt that the author played to very stereotypical themes, and gave the characters especially the African American ones very inappropriate and obvious voices and structure in terms constructing their mental character I understand that the author wrote much of this as a result of her experiences growing up in the south in the 1960 s, and that it may seem authentic to her, and that she was even trying to be respectful of the people and the time but, ultimately, I thought that it was written from a very narrow, idealized, almost childish perspective of race relations without a true appreciation of the humanity and soul of the characters And the ultimate theme message i.e why, we re all the same there s no difference between us after all only reinforced my feeling that this is written from someone who has a very undeveloped or underdeveloped concept of race and race relations in the United States The author would benefit from exploring authentic African American voices Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou and understanding the scope, range and most important the foundation of the emotions genuine African American characters express as a result of their journey as a people in the US hope, frustration, drive, passion, anger, happiness, sadness, depression, joy. I read the first paragraph of The Help, absorbing the words, but suddenly being caught off guard by the dialect I stopped reading.I shifted the book in my hands, flipping to the author s biography and photograph on the back of the dust jacket Staring up at me was this image error