June 09, 2011

June's Book Club Read is a Must!

I never thought I'd say this, but after a few short months of book club readings, I've developed a new appreciation for fiction reading!  This month's book, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett just put me over the edge and I'm just in love with this book. 

A brief overview of the book from Barnes and Noble:

Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women:
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women-mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends-view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

Stockett's writing style and her use of multiple character narration really puts the reader in the moment and captivates you into the story setting.  As the reader, you have the opportunity to "walk a mile" in the various character's shoes and see just how things are from their vantage point, experiencing each little detail just as it is your own.  Group consensus was that we all just loved Aibileen, wouldn't cross Minnie if our life depended on it, related with Skeeter and all despised Hilly!  Each character was just bigger than life and developed so well. 

For this southern belle, our book club couldn't have picked a better book to kick off the summer.  I've always found great interest in the works of southern authors, but Stockett's book grabbed my attention more than most and I just loved each page. 

Last night, our book club gathered poolside to discuss the book and everyone agreed that this was their fave title thus far.  We dined on fabulous chocolate pie, a humorous selection given the stories about Minnie's pie in the book, and enjoyed lively discussion about all things southern and related to the book. 

Move on over To Kill A Mockingbird, Secret Life of Bees and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil ... The Help is joining you at the top of my MUST READ list!

~charmed b