Book Review

The Help, Kathryn Stockett
 originally published in 2009

My friend Jillian has a great library system. I do not. She helps me out by reading voraciously and then passing on the good ones to me. I never would have read The Help if she hadn’t given it to me.

The story is set in the late 1950s early 1960s in the south. The help referred to are the black women who clean the houses and raise the children of southern white women. One of these women, unmarried after college, begins to question the system that she grew up under and decides to write a book about it. She enlists the help of one of her friend’s maid and she brings more maids to tell their stories.

There’s back biting, in-fighting, and cattiness enough for anyone who loves that sort of thing (Bunko party, anyone?). What surprised me was how anxious I was for the characters. They had to keep their meeting and story writing secret and I was turning pages faster and faster as I expected someone to come busting in at an inconvenient moment.

I read it on a business trip – it was perfect airplane and hotel reading.

Book Review & Update

February kicked my ass. I know, it’s the middle of March, what am I whining about? I had a big deadline at work, winter was dragging on and on and on, and I was (still am) a single parent (Peter Pan went to Florida). The last couple of days of sunshine and spring-like weather have me feeling so much better. It’s enough to make me want to invest in one of those happy lights next fall.

Allow me to start out with a book review to ease myself back into the swing of things.

Find Me, Rosie O’Donnell
originally published in 2002

I like Rosie O’Donnell, always have. This book left me a little underwhelmed. Maybe I read it too quickly after Celebrity Detox, too much of a good thing?

Find Me was an interesting glimpse into mental illness. How it not only affects those who suffer from it, but those who watch from the outside. I was uncomfortable with the view into Rosie’s head that the book afforded me. I don’t want to go that far into anyone’s head, let alone someone I only know from watching TV and the movies.

The book tells the story of a woman who contacted O’Donnell with a story about being pregnant and having no options. Which turned out to be untrue. It was painful to see how much O’Donnell immersed herself in this woman’s life, almost to the detriment of her own and her children’s lives. I don’t want to know this much about her inner demons. I have enough of my own.