the help

why i wanted to read it: because erin sent it to me years ago… and because one of the categories for her challenge was a book that had a yellow cover.

what i liked: she rubs the cream in my hair with both hands. i can practically feel the hope in her fingers (page 128).

“minny, i don’t care if celia never lifts another finger for the rest of her life… i don’t care if she can cook. i just want her here –” he shrugs. “with me” (page 162).

i turn out all the lamps, the television, every electricity sucker downstairs save the refrigerator. i stand in front of the window and unbutton my blouse. carefully i turn the dial to three. because i long to feel nothing. i want to be frozen inside. i want the icy cold to blow directly on my heart.

the power blows out in about three seconds (page 325).

i sit down at my typewriter.

but i cannot type. i stare at the tiny gray squares of the back porch screen. i stare so hard, i slip through them. i feel something inside me crack open. i am vaporous. i am crazy. i am deaf to that stupid, silent phone. deaf to mother’s retching in the house. her voice through the window. “i’m fine, carlton, it’s passed.” i hear it all, and yet i hear nothing. just a high buzzing in my ears (page 331).

“going from hilly to celia must’ve been quite the change, johnny.”

johnny shakes his head. “like living in antarctica all my life and one day moving to hawaii” (page 386).

what sucked: nothing really. i’d seen the movie ages ago, so i’m more partial to certain scenes in the film than i am to their respective parts in the book, but… it’s a pretty solid story.

having said that: i like all the characters, save for hilly and elizabeth. but even they are well-developed. it’s rare that an author can evoke such animosity for a character in me, and yet… i can admire the author her ability to have fashioned these women. hilly is a vile human being for all her hate and elizabeth is equally so for all her cowardice. i listened to it on audio, which is why i don’t have as many snippets to share with you of the things i liked, and every time the disc ended (i borrowed it from the library, yall), i was both annoyed by the interruption and sad because the story had stopped. also, if you do the audio, octavia spencer reads minny’s parts, and the gal who reads the secret life of bees reads skeeter’s. it’s a damned fine story. i’m glad to have read it.

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