I started reading The Help this weekend and I can't put it down.
I'm a little late on the bandwagon, especially since it's A MOVIE PLAYING RIGHT NOW, but it's been sitting on my shelf for a year, and finally I've picked it up.
By the way, I got it for a quarter - a quarter I tell you - at the library because they already had enough editions of it and so the librarians put their extras up for sale.
Anyway, I am not sure why I postponed reading it except I was deep in Beverly Lewis's Amish country for a while....then I was deep in Robert Whitlow's mysteries for a while.....then I've been deep in our little town's history for a while.
(Ask me anything about Dalhart prior to 1950 and I can tell you. I am full o' facts. Everytime we drive down the street, I try to point out some interesting trivia about a house or building, but Jason stops me before I even finish my "Did-you-know" sentence.
"You already told me," he says, and then proceeds to tell me exactly what I was about to tell him.)
Anyway. The Help.
This book is awesome - but you probably already know that because you read it two years ago.
I can't go see a movie if there's a book written prior to it. I have to read the book first. Then, with great anticipation, I will go see this movie and judge whether they got the casting right and whether they stuck with the original storyline and whether they set the scene correctly and whether they were in their right mind while making this movie.
I was burned once, you see. I read The Firm with great joy in the early 90's, and was just delighted when they cast Tom Cruise with the lead, because that's exactly what I had imagined in my head....and all this was when I still was riding high on his Top Gun performance of 1985.
(And regarding Tom Cruise - the times: they have a changed. Top Gun can't save him anymore.)
So then, when the powers that be changed the movie ending of The Firm, and totally destroyed the whole direction of the book, I was indignant. Hollywood has no appreciation for good literature.
Among other things.
But I continue to hear that this movie The Help is continually getting praise for it's casting and for sticking close to the original storyline. So I cannot - CAN-NOT - go see this movie without having read the book first. I'm counting on myself to be able to do a Siskel and Ebert review to anyone who will listen....or just in my head.
And I caught myself last night almost responding to a question from my husband with, "I done tol you that a'ready." Because I am deep in this southern book about the help a' all.
Oh, it is so much fun to be reading a good book. I love these characters. I love their funny thoughts and observations, and I love that the author gave several different points of view complete with dialect from both the black perspective and the white perspective.
I adore Minny and Aibileen, and I totally get where Skeeter is coming from, too. And Hilly....don't you just love to hate Hilly?
This is just good reading, y'all. I'm not going to pontificate on all the implications regarding the race issues and the politics of the time. I'm just here to say that this is a great example of engaging characterization, in-depth plot, and just plain good writin'.
See - I am so totally immersed that I all talkin' like I ain't a former English teacher.
But then, to look back at some of my posts, one might wonder 'bout those credentials, anyway.
What did you all think???
About the book, I mean. Just the book.