Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Ladies' Book Club: July 2011

Book Read:
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Ladies in Attendance:
5 regular members

Treats shared:
Oreo pie (I know, right? YUM!), Fruit pizza (just as yummy!), the BOSS sandwich ( a massive pile of meats, cheeses and bread), stinky blue cheese and crackers, spicy jelly and cheese, sun dried tomatoes, red and white wine and Limeade!

To Read or Not to Read:
Everyone read it this time!!!!

My Reaction:
I LOVED it. LOVED LOVED LOVED it. In fact, I mourned it in the end. I had a hard time geting in to another book. This book was written in such a way that the story flowed effortlessly. I had no trouble at any point. It held my interest all the way. In fact, it was one of those books that I sought out every possible moment to read a few pages. THAT is something. I don't get a lot of time to read or have that much energy these days and it was really lovely to feel so strongly about "getting back" to a book.

For those of you who don't know the story, The Help is about the lives of several black maids and their white families in Jackson, Mississippi during the sixties. Each chapter is told from a different voice, Abilene, Minny and Skeeter. Abilene and Minny are two older black maids and Skeeter is a twenty-something white woman at a difficult place in her life. It's about the discrimination of the time, the power of prayer and hope, the importance of family and friends, and the overcoming obstacles and making change happen.

I am so excited to see the movie that comes out later this summer. We are planning on going as a group. I look forward to seeing if the casting matches my view of the characters and if the movie can convey the warmth and soul of the book.

Ladies' Reaction:
We all agreed that it was an amazing book. Two of the ladies had read it awhile ago and had a bit of trouble remembering some the details but definitely knew they enjoyed reading it. We all seemed to appreciate the author's warmth to her writing. She herself had grown up in the south and had a black maid that she was incredible fond of and loved. That respect really came through in her telling of this story, especially when she was in the voice of a older black woman. The author mentioned that she definitely took a risk writing as a black woman but I felt she did a good job, for what I know.

The book sparked some discussion of prejudice then and now. Were the racist white ladies indeed mean and full of hate or were they just raised in a world that didn't value black people as equals? We dissected Hilly's character a bit since she was, by far, the most hated character in the book, being the high and mighty white lady of her community and enforcing all the rules to keep black folks in their place. That is what she was raised in, she didn't feel there was any other way, yet her friend, Skeeter, also raised in the same environment, grew to be open and accepting of change.

We are excited for the movie and hopped online to check out the cast. Thought most were unfamiliar to us, once we saw the movie cover we thought the looks of some of the actresses really fit the characters in the book.

Good Book Club Pick?
Yes! Overall, we loved it! There were very few complaints on this one. We answered most of the questions in the reading group guide and everyone had a lot to say about it. I am so happy I finally got around to reading this bestseller!

Author Website:

Next Book Up:
The Bolero of Andi Rowe by Toni Plummer (this was written by a friend of one my the Ladies!)

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Yay!! So lad you loved it!! You must try the audio production - it is one of those books that I will recommend the audio over the book. It is a completely different experience and there are three narrators for each of the characters - the actress who was the voice for Minny will be playing her in the movie that comes out next month as well. The audio is INCREDIBLE!

Misha said...

I LOVED it too! This is a book I can read multiple times. I am really looking forward to the movie - I hope it lives up to the book.

Mystica said...

A book like this upsets me because of the racial prejudice then I haul myself up severely as it is the upbringing of the people at the time and they may not have known anything different.

Marce said...

Wow, hearing it from you makes me realise I do need to read this one.

I am doing so good with your challenge, yaaaay me :-) Only 2 more for my level A-I

Senator said...

This book was never on my radar, but after I saw the movie trailer, I can't help but want to read it!

So happy to hear you liked it, I guess I'll really have to check it out.

Tales of Whimsy said...

I love that you're going to the movie as a group!

I can't wait to hear your movie thoughts.

Audra said...

I'm definitely going to find the audio of this based on your enthusiasm for the book and Natalie's rave about it.

Also -- I found a local book group and started attending, thanks to you. So far, it's been fun -- I'm very hopeful about it. So thanks! ;)

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

I own this but have been put off my the hype. I really should just read it! :P

WonderBunny said...

I'm so glad you loved this book! I too must recommend the audio version which is amazing!

Jo-Jo said...

I am so glad to hear that this was a good book club pick as my group is reading it this summer to discuss in September. I'm thinking a few of us might want to read it quicker to go see the movie when it comes out!

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I haven't read this one because I tend to shy away from this topic (I know...very cowardice of me) but I can definitely see how it would be a great book club book.

My grandmother read it and identified with many of the characters. She really thought the author got it right.

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just picked up this book but haven't read it yet--it's on my TBR pile. After reading your review, I think I will bump it up a bit to the top :) Rae, Best O' Books

Jenny said...

I'm really looking forward to the movie too and from what I can tell the characters seem to fit well for me! I think they did a great job casting Skeeter.

Carol said...

Have been a little busy to catch up on blogs recently and missed this post until today.

I too loved The Help. I want to see the film and usually I am not keen on film adaptations.

This is a great book club choice.
I hear you when you say it was hard getting into another book. Some books leave me like that.