The Best Book This Year

Monday, September 26, 2011
I know I said I was going to blog about the chicken pox, but I am sick of the chicken pox.  I'm into my 4th week of it and I will glad if I never hear the words 'chicken pox' ever again after this.

So I have decided to write about the best book I've read this year. I downloaded it from and it truly is the best way to read this book, in my opinion, as there are three narrators for the unabridged version, so you get a real feel for the characters and that delightful southern American accent.

What is the book? The one everyone is talking about.

The Help written by Kathryn Stockett

I am not going to write a summary of the book, as there are plenty of them out there in the internet world written far better than I ever could. Just know that it is one of the few books on my list that have the honour of being impossible to put down, and one you won't want to end.
Once you start reading, you won't be able to stop. These women become your friends.

My favourite characters are Miss Celia and her husband Johnny, and Aibilene and Minnie. Looking through the trailers on youtube for the movie I think the casting director has pretty much hit the characters spot on - Miss Celia is exactly as I pictured her in the book, as is Minnie, Skeeter and Aibilene. The only one I think they didn't get right was Skeeter's mother, but that is my own opinion.

This story will make you laugh and will make you cry. At times you'll be worried about what's coming next. This is not a time in history that America should be proud of, but it is a time in history that saw great changes, good changes.

I remember the first time when I was a child that I heard about slavery in America. I was at school and we were learning about it. I must have been about 9 or 10 years old at the time, I think. All I can remember is being horrified at the cruelty and the injustice, and just a little bit not willing to believe that such things could happen - feeling like a 3 year old and wanting to clap my hands over my ears. Living in a country where inter-racial marriages have been common right from the get-go (I am not a purebred English girl myself), it is like hearing about the Nazi holocaust for the first time - horrific, shameful.
My grandmother encouraged me to read Uncle Tom's Cabin after that. She gave me her own beautiful copy given to her by her mother and father in 1927. I remember being glued to that book too, and crying buckets of tears over it.

So it is fascinating to go back in time through this book, The Help, and get an insight into the daily dramas and the daily struggles of women who lived through this, and to see the little changes in society that were happening slowly during this time of liberation.

I hope that you will give the book a chance - it is a wonderful book, brilliantly written. Can you believe that the author was turned down by 60 publishers before it was accepted! Now that must surely be encouragement for any budding novelist. It does make me wonder about those 60 publishers though and what they were thinking when they rejected it. Madness!


octabis said...

Good thing that you liked it. It's been sitting on my bedside table since a few days, and I was thinking of starting it soon. I definitly will then!

Since i'm not posting comments often, I will also add that i'm following your blog very carefully, and it's so nice to get glimpses of beautiful NZ via your eyes. Thanks for that !


Rachel said...

Bonjour Valerie - so nice to see you here and know you're reading my blog. Hope you enjoy The Help - it's addictive reading!

Julia said...

Sounds like a book I would enjoy. I must look into seeing whether the library stocks it.

Sorry to hear about the pox. We have it here over Christmas one year...

Blessings from the North,

Cottage Tails said...

60 publishers oh wow I didn't know that

I've been wondering how yea all going with the chicken pox ((hugs))

Love Leanne

Cate said...

Hope that you are all just about clear of the chicken pox.

Have been wondering about that book - the author must have been the most persistent person to have kept approaching publishing house after publishing house!

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