Friday, August 12, 2011

the help, or something like it

I'm a big reader; I'm sure you've figured that out by now. I read all sorts of things, of most genres and am usually willing to try something new (okay, I will admit- I still have not read the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series or The Girl Who Played with Fire, etc- they just don't appeal to me!). My mother read The Help last summer and told me how much she enjoyed it and how she thought I'd like it, so I added my name to the queue at the DC Library. To my surprise, I was somewhere around 300 on the list. No worries, I had several other books to read. Eventually I got it, and had been hearing of it's popularity and how much everyone loved it. I had high hopes for The Help. How could I not, really?


Confession- I did not love The Help.


I didn't hate it, I didn't dislike it, I just didn't LOVE it, the way everyone else LOVED it. People raved and raved and raved; it was the best book they'd ever read. They couldn't put it down. The read it in one sitting. They said it was the best book ever.


BEST BOOK EVER.


EVER.


Really? Ever? Now, I am not sure what I'd consider to be the best book ever (maybe Ramona Quimby, Age 8!), but I know for certain that The Help was not the best book I ever read. There was just something about it that irked me. I can't put my finger on it. It was good, I enjoyed the story, but I just found myself somewhat bothered by the storyline. The characters seemed to be well developed, for the most part. I didn't dislike them, I just found it somewhat difficult to relate to them. Yes, this could be because I didn't grow up in the Deep South and I wasn't around during this turbulent time in American history, so maybe that is where part of my difficulty came from. I just don't understand how it was okay to have someone care for your child, yet it wasn't okay for them to use your toilet.


Needless to say, I do want to see the movie. I'd like to see the characters come to life. Maybe I should read the book again, before seeing it, as it was about a year ago that I read it. Again, I liked the book. I just didn't LOVE the book, though I feel that I'm the only one!


So tell me. Did you read The Help? Did you like it? Or did you LOVE it? Am I the only one who didn't LOVE it?


14 comments:

~Laurie~ said...

I liked The Help - didn't LOVE it, didn't think it was the best book ever. I am interested in the movie too - although the previews seem to portray the book a little different. It will be interesting to see the movie! I agree with you - Miss Rumphius is one of my favorite books also. I would love to BE Miss Rumphius :)

Meg said...

Oh, I definitely loved The Help. A friend and I read it at the same time and talked about it for days! I wouldn't say it's my favorite book of all time, but it's definitely up there. I just thought it was the perfect blend of excellent storytelling, wonderful dialogue and emotional drama. I definitely connected with Skeeter and cared deeply for the characters.

My friend and I actually went to see it together last night -- the movie was great! And very true to the book, which was nice to see. There was hardly a dry eye in the place by the end.

Barefoot in the Park said...

i loved it! but i think because it resonated with me. both my parents grew up in the south during that time with "help" that were like 2nd parents to them and then to me when i was little. sometimes i like "love" of a book just comes from identifying with it!

how i met your father blog said...

i kind of agree with you... i did read it in one sitting. i just had to find out what happened.

i think it's because i love that time period and am so amazed by civil rights movement and how everything was so stilted and stunted and how close minded people were. it reminds me of now, with the gay-rights and how close-minded people are, too.

Katelin said...

admittedly The Help was one of my favorite reads last year. i just loved the story and got quite enamored with all of the characters. i sort of wish there was a follow up story too so we could see what happened to everyone.

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Margaret said...

Surfing on the net instead of the blue , blue Southern Ocean Bass Straits. Haven't heard of the book The Help but I have a friend who is besotted with the Gone With the Wind period, Civil War etc. etc. so will have to tell her about it. Scrilled through your posts and the red rownies look interestin , I will have to try them have you made Beetroot chocolate cake or muffins ? Give me you address and I will send you a Tea Towel from Australia . I collect thimbles and Souvenir playing cards.

Heidi said...

I LOVED The Help - it was hard to put down, I loved the characters (even the bitchy ones) and though i couldn't relate to it, it definitely brought a dark period of american history out in a way that made me somehow wish I had experienced that history, even if just to witness it (i'm the same as you - growing up in new england was VERY different not to mention 20-30 years later than this in the 80's/90's) I'm very curious to see the movie and see how the turn a book that's narrated by 3 different characters into the big screen but I'm dying to see it. Even adam read the help and loved it :)

(will you at least come see the movie with me???)

rebecca said...

I really enjoyed The Help; it is in my top ten books of all time with illustrious company like Water for Elephants, Confession of Shopaholic series, Sweet Valley Twins/High/University, and The Babysitter's Club. (I clearly fail at reading The Great Books.)

But any book or television series set in the 60s in always fascinating to me because that is the period that my parents graduated high school, got married, and started a family. And I think we are all fascinated with the idea of what are our parents were like when they were our age.

So to me, The Help joins the television show American Dreams and Mad Men (but only season one, after that I just wanted to shake Don Draper and scream "WHY ARE YOU SUCH A TRAINWRECK?!?!) as the media that helps paint the picture that is sketch in my mind.

Janssen said...

I couldn't agree more.

The Pink Chick said...

I am reading The Help right now. I am still on the fence about it. I do like it, but I am not sure I am in love with it. Ramona Quimby, however, now those are great books! :)

Paula said...

I really enjoyed The Help but it certainly wasn't my favorite all-time book. I do want to see the movie, mostly for the 60's clothes and hairstyles.

Football and Fried Rice said...

I liked it - it was well written and had a great plot! But I was unable to really relate as well.... I will probably rent the movie :)

Shoshanah said...

I really enjoyed The Help when I read it. I wouldn't go as far as to say, "Best Book Ever," but it was one of my favorite books that I've read recently.