Book Monday: The Help
There are so many good things about this book, I could spend weeks highlighting them. Literally, others have. For example, Larry Brooks over at Storyfix.com has done it in his "The Help Deconstruction Series." But I am not going to do that. I am going to talk about the ONE BIG thing I liked the most about this book: THE VOICE.
The voice. That squirmy undefinable thing that all writers have to find for themselves. I don't know how Kathryn found hers for this book, but its amazing. Basically, the book is told from three different perspectives in first person. Two voices are from the black maids ("the help") and one from a young white woman. This is in the 60's, in the South, and you can just feel the change a comin.
I especially like the voice of the older maid Aibileen. She talks about gettin the Good Nuff sprayed on her hair, little Stevie Wonder on the tee-vee, makin herself a poke salad with fried ham, takin care of chilluns. Some of the references to 60's products, culture, and foods were lost on me, and some really made this book. I think it is really hard to pull of writing a book entirely in dialect. Certainly when the dialect is somewhat foreign. But Miss Stockett did it seemlessly. The slang never got in the way. In fact, I think it made this book.
And that's all I gotta say about that. (Wait, that's Forrest Gump...oh well, this book is as good Forrest Gump. And since the movie comes out this Wednesday August 10th, I am predicting it will be as big of a hit as Gump was).