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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book and Film Review of The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (February 10, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399155341

Synopsis via Amazon:

The Help is set in the early 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi and told from the perspective of three women: Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter. Aibileen is an African-American maid who cleans houses and cares for the young children of various white families. Minny is Aibileen's confrontational friend who frequently tells her employers what she thinks of them. Her actions have led to her being fired from 19 jobs. Minny's most recent employer was Mrs. Walters, mother of Hilly Holbrook. Hilly is the social leader of the community, and head of the Junior League. She is the nemesis of all three main characters.

Miss Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan is the daughter of a prominent white family whose cotton farm employs many African-Americans in the fields, as well as in the household. Skeeter has just finished college and comes home with big dreams of becoming a writer; her mother's big dream for her is to get her married, although Skeeter is not interested. What does interest her is that Constantine, the maid who raised her, is nowhere to be found: Skeeter's family tells her that Constantine abruptly quit and went to live with relatives in Chicago but Skeeter wonders if this is true but no one will discuss it.

During the weekly bridge club that Skeeter attends with Hilly, Mrs. Walters, and Elizabeth Leefolt, Hilly discusses her belief that all homes should have separate bathroom facilities for the "colored" help. This discussion awakens Skeeter to the realization that her friends' maids are treated very differently from how white people are treated. She decides that she wants to reveal the truth to the world from the maids' perspectives by writing a book about it. Written in the first person from the perspective of Abileen, Minny and Skeeter, the struggles Skeeter experiences to communicate to the maids and gain their trust is revealed, as well as the issues of overcoming long-standing barriers in customs and laws by all of the characters. The daily lives of Southern homemakers and their maids during the early 1960's in Mississippi are explored. The dangers of undertaking writing a book about African-Americans speaking out in the early 60's hover constantly over the three women.

Book Review:

To avoid giving away spoilers for those who plan to see the film, I will be brief on description. But this post will be long. I read this book two years ago and I read it in two sittings, I hadn't wanted to, but I had to put it down to fix supper, later that night I read it straight through until I finished at 2 am.

This book is about three women, but for me, Minny's POV was the most compelling. She had a tough exterior to all those around her, but in her husband presence she would become fragile and weak. I wanted Minny to stand up for herself, like she does with that sassy mouth of hers to everyone else. But that's not real life and Kathryn Stockett did an excellent job showing us that although Minny could stand up for herself and others, she was still vulnerable in other areas. Minny held such contempt for her employers, that she couldn't hold a job because she couldn't hold her tongue. Yet, Minny had the personality that made you want her to be your friend. You knew she would always have interesting stories to tell after a long days work and she would be your dearest friend in times of need. I envied her friendship with Aibileen. They were like sisters, the love between them was apparent and I wanted to be in their circle. Minny was also the funniest character, she is never sparse on words and once she goes to work for Celia Foote we begin to see a tender and nurturing side of Minny emerge.

Skeeter's character was enjoyable but not my favorite character in the book in the beginning. I did like how Kathryn had Skeeter evolve into this woman who initially had no limitations on thinking differently than her peers, her only issue was she assimilated when in the presence of dominating personalities, but as the book progresses, we see Skeeter develop from a quiet reserved young woman as she not only begins to think differently, but begins to react differently and at times initiates change. She is a woman trying to find herself in a time where people insisted on trying to think for you especially as a young woman. It was nice to see her personal growth blossom and the relationship she develops with Aibileen and Minny become an intimate geniune friendship. The three characters begin to form a bond so deep that Skeeter in the end would rather stay in Mississippi with them, of course Minny and Aibileen had to tell her what she really needed to do.

Aibileen, I loved her spirit and her testimony as a mother. She drew me in and I wanted to console her, surround her with the enduring sentiment that some things would change eventually. I especially like this excerpt from Aibileen's first chapter describing how she felt when her son died. "That was the day my whole world went black. Air look black, sun look black. I laid up in bed and stared at the black walls at my house. Minny came every day to make sure I was still breathing, feed me food to keep me living. Took three months fore I even look out the window, see if the world still there. I was surprised to see the world didn't stop just cause my boy did." Aibileen is the most cautious out of the three and the most humble. Her story just as compelling as Minny, but something about Minny's less than desirable sassy, feisty attitude during an era when most African Americans were either submissive or rebellious in regards to civil rights, left a standing impression. Aibileen is the gentler, more rational side of the coin in their friendship.

Overall, I loved this book. The only thing I didn't like was the overuse of the word Lord and Lordy. It's written in an overrung southern dialect. I adapted after a few pages, and after awhile it didn't matter anymore. But every so often when the story was coming off an arc I would noticed the dialect and it could be heavy handed when there isn't any action or conflict happening.

I highly recommend this book and give it

5 STARS *****

Film Review of The Help:

I saw the film opening day at the first showing. It performed well with the audience and did an excellent job with keeping with the book for the most part. Some things were changed as I expected. But nothing that really made me feel as if they sold out to their devoted readers. This film has also been making some waves of criticism in the African American literary community. Some African American authors have expressed their displeasure at the fact that the book and film is about African American maids and that it is written by a white writer. The sentiment is why not let black writers write about those experiences if they are to be told. Another sentiment is that we've come along way since maids and mammy stereotypes; as well as why do readers need another book or film where African Americans need white people to liberate them.

Authors Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant asked in a blog post, "Would The Help have received so much attention if a black writer wrote about her mother or aunt who actually were 'the help'?"

Author Carleen Brice asked on her blog, White Readers Meet Black Authors, would a similar book by a black author have done so well? Carleen Brice has an interesting response in which she states, "for the record, I believe all writers have the right to tell stories about people different from them. But I believe part of the reason this book did so well was because the author was white. I have a hard time imagining the word of mouth would have been as great if the author were black. If only because if the author were black, most of y'all wouldn't have even been told about the book."

Author of The Color Purple, Alice Walker, described on her blog, Alice Walker's Garden, how she avoided the book out of fear that its subject matter would pick at old scabs, when she finally gave in, she was struck by the novel's "healing response to a lifetime of injustice and hurt."

Viola Davis who plays Aibileen had this to say about the criticisms in her interview with Entertainment Weekly, "People bristle at the maids." But I've played lawyers and doctors who are less explored and more of an archetype than these maids. It's not an issue of Hollywood, It's an issue of culture. Just write a story. Take a risk and tell the most fantastical story that you you've ever wanted to tell and then put it in my lap. There are few movies coming out this year with African American women in them. Very few are being made. Black actresses have enough obstacles in our way without out someone protesting an opportunity for us to show our work on screen. It's one thing if you go see The Help and you don't like it. But give it a chance."

Octavia Spencer who plays Minny says in her interview with Entertainment Weekly, "I'm thrilled to play this woman. She is a human being with the breadth and depth of emotions and she is a contributing member of society. It shouldn't be why is Viola Davis playing a maid in 2011?' I think it should be Viola Davis plays a maid and she gives the f---king performance of her life. That's why it's imperative that we celebrate this project. Because if it doesn't make money, at the end of the day no one is going to give a s--t about whether Viola did a great job or not. Put your butt in the seat."

My thoughts:

This movie was a joy to watch. I cried four times. I was pleasantly surprised at the tenderness the director took in approaching the subject matter. Producer of The Help, Brunson Green, stated, "this is not a young white girl's story. This is African American women's story." Director of The Help, Tate Taylor, said although the book assumes the point of view of three main characters, Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny, the narration in the movie would belong solely to Aibileen. I think Taylor's decision to do so will pay off in triple dividends because I fell in love with Aibileen in the first five minutes of the film. Aibileen voice carried the sentiment of that time with her cautionary and hesitant displays of action. Her thinking process of weighing the consequences, her faith in God to do something to make change even when you're afraid to spoke to me deeply. In the book, I thought Minny's voice was the dominant voice that lingered throughout the pages, in the film, it is clearly Aibileen's.

Watching Viola Davis give the performance of her life gave me shivers. And I'm thinking Oscar nomination for her in the future. Her performance was not overly dramatic, it was more subtle. The apprehension, discontent, anxiety and protest exuded in the expression of her eyes, the twitching and clutching of her purse, the wiping of sweat off her brow as if she felt someone was always watching her; represented the hesitation that many African Americans had when going against the grain of mainstream's predilection for the status quo. I felt for her as she portrayed Aibileen, I mourned with her, I was angry with her and I laughed with her and Minny. I was amazed that even in the midst of their circumstance, the maids still found pieces of joy. Isn't that what life is all about? Finding the joy in the midst of storms? I can't attest to knowing what the civil rights era was like in the 1960's by first hand experience, especially in Mississippi, but the attention to detail they gave, the empathy and apathy from characters rang true for me from my experience, research and knowledge. I remember one scene where Aibileen has two pictures of her son on her wall, a picture of Martin Luther King and a picture of John F. Kennedy. That was authentic to me because I have seen that same array of photos in many houses growing up, the only thing missing was a picture of Jesus.

The other powerful performances were Octavia Spencer, Cicely Tyson and Sissy Spacek. Octavia Spencer's performance was award worthy, along with Viola Davis, Sissy Spacek and Cicely Tyson. Sissy Spacek did an outstanding job as a mother who held the prominent role in the family but was now being cast down as a child by her daughter Hilly.

Cicely Tyson brief moments as the elderly maid Constantine were memorable. I cried during one of her scenes in the film where she is fired from her job with Skeeter's family. Although, I must admit I will likely cry with anything starring Cicely Tyson because she is just that iconic and esteemed. But Cicely Tyson's presence lends a touch of truth and authenticity. The pain in her face, I felt it. I felt as if she was recounting the pain not just from Skeeter's family, but from her pain in the past. When Constantine's daughter is pulling her away from the door after she is fired, Constantine's hand lingers on the screen, her hand fanned out as if  she's being separated from her family. It was powerful. If she had been with Skeeter's family twenty-nine years, what pains did she endure before then? I wanted to know Constantine's story. In the book her story is quite different. The new storyline works well in the movie, but I would've preferred the original as it had more heft.

Not to dismiss Emma Stone, she did a great job as Skeeter and I enjoyed her performance. I think this is her best performance to date, but it is not my favorite performance out of the entire cast of the Help. My favorite scene of Skeeter is when her mother, Charlotte, has given her hair a makeover. Skeeter's reaction in the presence of her mother is priceless. Emma is adorable in this film and I think she will be making some remarkable moments in the future in her acting career.

I remember once saying after I initially read the book that I felt as if Kimberly Elise should play the part of Minny. Well, Octavia Spencer quickly responded to me and said that fortunate for her she got the part instead and would be giving it her all. I was elated. One, Octavia Spencer has never really been in any major starring roles and secondly, this is a fantastic break for her because she is very talented and deserving. Octavia gave Minny the spark, attitude, modesty and depth that the character deserved and needed. Her performance was spot on and never felt forced or overwrought, which could easily be done with this type of character. Most importantly it was believable.

This is a touching, funny, powerful and poignant story and film. The screen adaption was done well. I could see the details in the smallest things and when I see that I know that there is a tenderness and caring on part of the director and the actors. The Help is a must see film that is thought provoking, hardy yet delicate, sensitive yet uncompromising and if you're open to seeing the labor of love exuding from the talented actresses in it, then it will leave you yearning for more.

As far as the controversy, I am bewildered at how many people dislike the book, yet have never read it. It would seem best that their opinion would have more weight and credibility if they have at least read the book or saw the film or both if they want to make comparisons. But to be outspoken about something they don't have any knowledge of except hearsay is unfair. It doesn't matter what color skin the author has, write a damn good book and hopefully people will read it.

As an African American reader, I read more books from white authors than I do black. It's not that they are better writers, it's because they write what I want to read...simple supply and demand. The Internet makes it very easy now to find authors from different kinds of backgrounds and ethnicities, so it's not the bookstore not carrying a particular book, at least not in my case. I'm a book reviewer, books generally come to me for free from publishers or authors and the one's I receive are usually not written by African Americans. Also, my favorite African American authors don't put out enough books to keep me constantly reading only their books. I read three to five books a week on average. That's nearly 200 books a year. How many books has Terry McMillan, Bernice L. McFadden and Toni Morrison written in one year? Not enough to keep me occupied with reading only their work.

As far as stereotypes, some African Americans continue to perpetuate these same stereotypes in different forms everyday through television, film and books. Until some people are willing to confront the people living beside them, with them, near them; they can't expect other races or ethnicities to do it for them. That would be like having white people come liberate black people, right? It's amazing how much negative energy is put forth about this book that has employed talented artists yet a community of people won't like it just because. Where is the hoopla and outrage for Basketball Wives??? If you want to create noise, so be it, but make it plausible and meaningful to our ears because the noise created from the displeasure of a white woman writing about black women has got me tuning out.

In regards to The Help having a concept where Skeeter liberates the maids, well I have to disagree. I truly saw it as an independent liberation. Where each woman liberated herself through self empowerment and exploration. Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter used the book as a vehicle to speak freely but they didn't need Skeeter to escape emotional confinement. If anything, Skeeter needed them. At the end of the book, civil rights was still desperately needed, nothing had changed on a macro level. The book gave a glimpse of what it meant in a tangible way for them to be able to express themselves, even if it was done in a concealed manner.

I also think it's excellent to see writers from different races, nationalities and ethnicies writing about other cultures. I don't remember a commandment that only the black race could write about their race and white races had to write about only their race. Or only Jewish people can write about the Holocaust or only men could write about men. I asked my husband these questions, if some very few African American writers are unhappy with a white woman telling a black woman's story, why don't they as African Americans write a white woman's story? What's stopping them? Why have have they narrowed themselves or stuffed themselves into a pigeon hole? Who told them they could only write about black people and why on earth did they believe it? I think if you're a writer, write what you like, write what you love and write what you want to read. Explore the vast literary market of developing and existing sub-genres or create your own. But stop complaining about something you haven't done or tried; like reading the book.

I think Toni Morrison said it best, "if there is a book you want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."

I give the film....

5 STARS *****


Favorite Excerpts and Quotes:

Aibileen to baby, toddler and 5 year old Mae Mobley, she often says this to Mae Mobley and Mae Mobley repeats it. It's Aibileen ways of remind the child that she is loved in a house where her mother disregards her.

Aibileen: "You is kind. You is smart. You is important."
Mae Mobley: "You is kind. You is smart. You is important."

"The first time I was ever called ugly, I was thirteen. It was a rich friend of my brother Carlton's over to shoot guns in the field.
'Why you crying, girl?' Constantine asked me in the kitchen.
I told her what the boy had called me, tears streaming down my face.
'Well? Is you?'
I blinked, paused my crying. 'Is I what?'
'Now you look a here, Egenia'-because Constantine was the only one who'd occasionally follow Mama's rule. 'Ugly live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful, mean person. Is you one a them peoples?'
'I don't know. I don't think so,' I sobbed.
Constantine sat down next to me, at the kitchen table. I heard the cracking of her swollen joints. She pressed her thumb hard in the palm of my hand, something we both knew meant Listen. Listen to me.
'Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.' Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums. 'You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?'
She kept her thumb pressed hard in my hand. I nodded that I understood. I was just smart enough to realize she meant white people. And even though I still felt miserable, and knew that I was, most likely, ugly, it was the first time she ever talked to me like I was something besides my mother's white child. All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe."

"She's got so many azalea bushes, her yard's going to look like Gone With the Wind come spring. I don't like azaleas and I sure didn't like that movie, the way they made slavery look like a big happy tea party. If I'd played Mammy, I'd of told Scarlett to stick those green draperies up her white little pooper. Maker her own damn man-catching dress."

"I want to yell so loud that Baby Girl can hear me that dirty ain't a color, disease ain't the Negro side a town. I want to stop that moment from coming - and it come in ever white child's life - when they start to think that colored folks ain't as good as whites. ... I pray that wasn't her moment, Pray I still got time."

"Everyone knows how we white people feel, the glorified Mammy figure who dedicates her whole life to a white family. Margaret Mitchell covered that. But no one ever asked Mammy how she felt about it."

"I'd cry, if only I had the time to do it."


What did you think about The Help?
Have you read the book, seen the film or both?


  1. EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT post, Lena! Your perspective helped me a lot. I plan to see the movie and evaluate it for myself! Thanks!!

  2. I have read the book and did something like you did...but it took me two days. I too love the book because it documented the harship of life for most African American women during that time. My favorite charecter of the book was Aibileen. She was so strong because she loved no matter what....she loved. I plan to see the movie this weekend. I will post my comments on it later. I pretty much agree with what you said about the characters of the no need to repeat. As for the author I give her mad kudos because she captured the true spirit of the south. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Great read!

  3. Thank you Lineofserenity and Katina for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope you both enjoy the film as much as I did.

  4. This book has been on my to-read list for quite some time now. Glad to see you enjoyed both the book and the movie. I look forward to both.

  5. Good for you that you enjoyed both novel and movie. just as you are bewildered that some people disliked the book, I'm sort of bewildered that you can't find enough African American authors to sustain your literary interest. You mention exactly three writers, certainly those were not the only authors you depended upon for your literary enjoyment. Of course genre is to be taken in consideration and African American authors do not cover all possible genres. I'm a cross culture reader also. I embrace all cultures however, I don't excuse anything when the facts points directly to culture issues. It is what it is. There is a word call 'principle'. A very strong word. So many have lost the definition of that word, and if you don't stand for something you fall for anything.
    Good Post

  6. Thanks Karen for stopping by and commenting. Hey Sidne, thanks for commenting too. You are right, it is what it is. I don't make excuses for what I prefer to read. Yes, I listed 3 AA authors, because my post was long enough as it was and didn't feel the need to list every single one. However, I do enjoy more than three, but I am a genre specific reader, I don't read romance, christian fiction or street lit. I prefer to read contemporary fiction as well as science fiction, dystopian, apocalyptic and steampunk. How many AA writers do you suppose write in those genres. And just because someone is AA doesn't warrant a place on my bookshelf. Yes, there is a thing called principle and I won't compromise mine by agreeing with others for the sake of agreement. I can can agree to disagree. although, I have no inclination as to what you were implying when you mentioned it in regards to this post. I also don't understand the don't excuse anything when it points to culture issues, this may be a culture issue, but it is not dismissed, I addressed it how I saw it from my perspective. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. But I stand on what I feel and know. As an African American writer, I face the same issues and will face culture issues in the literary world. But some of the stories and books I have written are solely based on white characters. What audacity someone would need to have to tell me I couldn't and what a shame it would be if I believed them.

    Thanks for commenting Sidne. Enjoyed the discussion. :-)

  7. Also, I stated in my post that I was bewildered at how so many people disliked the book, that hadn't read it yet. I don't have an issue with readers who don't like it, it's their perogative. But I find it puzzling that people don't like it based on hearsay. My point was read it first, then judge it.

  8. Honestly, I haven't read the book, but I have read many of the reviews, including the low stars. Basically, it's all based on opinion. I would probably read the book and go see the movie if I had the money just to feed my curiosity. And the movie I would really go to see because I would stand behind the AA actors (though I do like Sissy S.). One thing we have to realize as AA is the fact we tend to dislike our own. If we supported the works of the African American as quickly as we do other races we would be a force to reckon with.
    I enjoyed your review.

  9. I totally agree Ey, I think African American's support AA authors but not nearly enough. But it is so many issues in regards to it, the state of the literary genre of AA books being dominated by street lit, the more literary prose and mainstream writers who have been successful putting out less work or getting less publicity. It's so many factors, but I don't know if there is a fix all solution, I can't even pretend to know. But I think people buy what they like, read what's new and fresh, and pick up what they see in front of them. I think most would buy or try a new book if they new it existed black or white.

  10. My response to your post was not directed at you and I should of wrote more clearly than I did. (never again at 2am in the morning and sleepy) What was directed to you was the first paragraph, me being surprise that there are not enough A.A. writers to satisfy your reads. Being a regular follower of your blog I have noticed the books that you like and that is why I also stated that most AA writers don't write in genres that some AA readers have grown accustom to reading so genre has to be taken in consideration too.
    My statement 'I' don't excuse anything if the facts points directly to culture issues. Why I said that was to say: IT does not matter to me what ethnic the writer is and what they are writing about as long as its well written, however if 'I" feel it crosses some cultural concerns or goes against principles I uphold "I' don't embrace it. When I said, some people don't uphold principles, I meant some people do things as a matter of principles and other don't uphold them. Maybe those that disliked the book chose to dislike it as a matter of principles or liked it for their own principles. I was really into some deep thinking when i wrote that line and just excuse that comment, lol.
    Reviews are heresay, it is written words about what someone else says about the subject matter. Most of the time a person make a decision based off of what others have said or read about something. However I think we tend to read or view for ourselves. As you know, word of mouth can make or break it.
    I apologize for such a confused reply to your post. I apologize also if anything I wrote you felt I was directing to 'you'. it was not. As always i enjoyed reading the post and i enjoyed reading this one also. A good post.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  11. It is perfectly okay Sidne. I was like Ooooh discussion, interesting, not the usual great post comment as bloggers often get. So I was intrigued and excited. I was sratching my head a little, but it was perfectly fine. I have done the posting early in the am before, and it doesn't come out how I thought it in my head.

    I get what you're saying about principle, that could definitely be a contributing factor. Same as with the reaction to the movie For Colored Girls and Precious, people didn't want to see it based on principle, as to what they heard or read in the media. Great point.

  12. Auuugghh! I so want to read your reviews but me and my mom plan on seeing this soon and I don't want to spoil it. I'll have to come back and read them once I watch the movie. My Mom is currently reading the book and I think I will when she's done.

  13. Brilliant post, Lena!

    I've read the book and loved it but haven't seen the movie (yet).

    I'm in the Netherlands and my first objection to the movie poster was: it looks way too glamorous! Maybe that's just the poster and not the movie itself?

    I think I share all your viewpoints about African-American writers etc. Amazing, as I'm white and not American. Maybe your (and my) view is just common sense. :-)

    I think the story is useful from a historical viewpoint - I learned so much about life in 1950s America!

    Whether the book would have sold less if the writer wasn't white? How about the successful Someone Knows Your Name/The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill? Here is a African-Canadian author telling a story about a slave girl and it's become very popular too.

    That book also had its criticism, especially from people who hadn't read it. Funny, isn't it?

  14. Just read the comments and about tending to dislike "our own" as Ey Wade says, lots of us here in the Netherlands don't read Dutch authors (i.e., authors from our own country). Some of us read
    all but Dutch authors. Funny, that!

  15. What a wonderful & thoughtful double review - have been reading lots of different thoughts on this book (and the film, which I haven't seen yet). I really enjoyed the book (agree, the dialect was way too much at the start) and found it overall to be a wonderful story - but also very thought provoking. I do think many of the concerns raised about the book are well worth considering. You have addressed many of them beautifully here, and I hope people will take the time to read and consider the range of opinions.

  16. Great review!

    I saw the trailer for this movie a few weeks ago and immediately reserved the book at my library (will be a bit of a wait, but I thought I should read the book first).

    In response to the controversy, I don't get it. That's like being offended by a book about women because it's written by a man. Honestly, I don't think it matters who writes the book if it's well written and moves you.

    My book club is reading Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe this month. The author is white, but from what I understand, most of the characters of both races are pretty awesome. I'm really excited to read this book and can't wait until it's my turn to read The Help.

  17. Thank you so very much Jade, Leeswammes, Bookspersonally and Jenn. I hope you all enjoy the film when you see it. And please make sure to come back and leave a link if you do a review of The Help on your blogs, I would love to know what you ladies think of it after you've seen it or read it.

  18. Great job writing a comprehensive post on the book, the movie AND all the controversy swirling around it ... though I don't get when people criticize things they haven't read or seen for themselves. I'm happy to hear the movie didn't sell out the book. I know I read that the director was a childhood friend of Stockett's ... so I'm sure he was so so careful to be faithful to the book and the intentions and spirit of the book. Well done!

  19. Great job writing a comprehensive post on the book, the movie AND all the controversy swirling around it ... though I don't get when people criticize things they haven't read or seen for themselves. I'm happy to hear the movie didn't sell out the book. I know I read that the director was a childhood friend of Stockett's ... so I'm sure he was so so careful to be faithful to the book and the intentions and spirit of the book. Well done!

  20. Loved both your reviews! I think I also read this one two years back. And Minny is my favorite character from this book! I can't wait to watch the movie!

  21. A fantastic review & Totally agree with your comments about writers pigeonholing themselves in an act of self ghettoizing (not sure that's a word), if all you want is to swim in a tiny pool, that's your choice, but that doesn't mean you can dismiss or put down those that seek the ocean. Enjoyed your post, thanks.

  22. Thanks for the review, Lena. I read The Help a few months ago and read it in one sitting, finally putting it down at about 5 o'clock or 6 o'clock in the morning. I can't remember when I last did that.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the film. I'm glad to see you recommend that, too.

  23. I also loved The Help. Check out my review here:

    Don't forget to check out all my other book reviews!!

  24. Get daily suggestions and guides for earning THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS per day ONLINE totally FREE.


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I am a writer, filmmaker, wife and a mom of five beautiful, intelligent, quirky kids. This blog is for writers, aspiring writers, filmmakers and movie lovers. Bringing you my favorite books, films and photos, as well as giveaways and updates on my journey. I'm currently in the process of producing my first short film from my collection of short stories titled, If I Had My Way. The first story to be filmed will be Tandarin Drive. My award winning book, If I Had My Way, is available now. You can purchase a copy at and You may contact me via email at:

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