The Help (Kathryn Stockett) 2*

the helpPeople seem to have a lot to say about this book, but I am far too bored to say very much.  Briefly:

1. It’s boring.  I eventually skipped all but Minnie’s chapters (the only interesting narrator and also the only interesting plot arc), so you could say I read [1/2 +1/3 = 5/6] of this book, which is ½ too much.

2. Everyone is pretty noxious except for (a) black people and (b) white people who literally have To Kill a Mockingbird on their nightstand.  Eyeroll please.  I wasn’t around in the 1960’s, but I’d guess that non-racists then were pretty much like non-meat-eaters now: highly uncommon outside of intellectual bastions and sometimes irritatingly self-righteous.  (You know that future generations will judge us harshly for the factory farms.)

3. I cannot suspend my disbelief.  Celia, the upjumped cracker girl, can’t even conceive of treating Minnie as anything other than an equal?!  I don’t pull out the interobang often, but I pull it out here.  Nobody clings to racial hierarchy more than poor members of the dominant ethnicity – it’s the only thing they have.  How can Stockett grow up in the South and not notice that phenomenon?

4. The lavender-and-gold cover design just makes me think “urine-soaked wedding,” and I cannot deal.

In conclusion, why are we even talking about this book?


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