I’ll admit, one of the reasons I put off reading this book for so long was because so many people I knew were reading it. Something in me hates to follow the crowd. But every now and then I find I can agree with the New York Times Bestseller List. And this is one of them.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett gripped me from the first page. I literally couldn’t put it down. The writing is amazing. The characters so clearly drawn. The twist and turns in the story, flawless. It is a story that illustrates the good and the bad that comes out in all of us. It makes me examine myself, my shortcomings, my attitudes. And that, to me, signifies good fiction. Those are the kinds of books I keep on my shelves for years to come (although I have to give this copy back to my friend and buy my own now!).
But after turning the last page, the afterward parts fascinated me even more. As a writer trying to tell a story with its roots in the true history of others, this book showed me it is possible to grab the essence of what you want to say without having to hold to the facts that inspired it. That facts can intertwine with story and still convey truth.
This story and these characters will stay with me for a very long time.