The Help

I read “The Help” on Kindle courtesy my library. I liked the book but put off writing a review to see how much of it stayed with me after a few weeks. It has been almost a month since and all that remains is a feeling that I enjoyed it.

So I try hard to remember what the book was about and it comes back in bits and pieces. It was well written. Parts of it conjured up imagery of cotton plantations in the south and I enjoyed those parts. What it did however is left me longing for more. I remember thinking the book could have been great but stopped short.

The life and attitudes of the setting in the book reminded me a lot of the way I grew up. I flinched when at first the topic of a separate bathroom for the help is discussed in the book. I felt shame creep up my cheeks when I realized it still happens and is a regular way of life where I come from. As the book progressed and each person recounts their relationship with their employer, snatches of conversation from my real life bubbled up and I wondered how many of us really take a step back and think about the concept of privilege.

How we are so immersed our lives that we do not realize the impact of our statements and thought on the people who work with us and for us. How it is so much a part of our lives and we are either too indifferent or complacent to care. How our families still perpetuate some of these inequalities in thought if not in action and we stand mute. By not acting, we are passively participating.

By the time I was done thinking about the book, I realized perhaps it is a better book than I give it credit for. It still makes me mad, ashamed and sad.

If you read the book, what is your take on it?

Books Review

Laksh View All →

Author. Parent.

4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. You know what Laksh, i was thinking the same thing too! Back home, we still discriminate against the “help” (maids). But i think its because of caste pure and simple! When we had a mammi cook at our home, she could pretty much do whatever she could, she used to light the deepam at pooja room, if it was not on by the time she came in. But the maid who was more friendly and nicer never used to!
    The movie shocked me in different ways than i thought, it was showing our own weakness and discrimination we sort of accept as natural. I did feel shocked and ashamed in a way.

    • Deeps, we should call and discuss this book. There is so much about the way we were brought up that feels so sad now. Guess I should see the movie now?

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