Discussion of "The Help"

Members of the forum choose and read a new book every month together, and then discuss it. You can nominate a book to be book of the month using the book's page on Bookshelves. Simply click the link that says 'Nominate for book of the month' on the left side of the book's Bookshelves page near the social sharing buttons. Don't be scared to nominate, as you can change your nomination to a different book if you think of something better.
Post Reply

How do you rate?

1 star - poor, recommend against reading it
0
No votes
2 stars - okay, fair
4
6%
3 stars- good, recommend it
29
41%
4 stars - excellent, amazing
38
54%
 
Total votes: 71

whero
Posts: 49
Joined: 07 Aug 2013, 01:53
Currently Reading: The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Bookshelf Size: 129
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-whero.html
Latest Review: "The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician" by Tendai Huchu
Reading Device: 1400699894

Re: Discussion of "The Help"

Post by whero » 03 Sep 2014, 07:14

I loved this book. It made me feel sick to the stomach at times, but of course I laughed out loud at the "terrible, awful". The scale and depth of racism in societies old and new always surprises me, I was sheltered through out my youth that these things just don't even enter my head. I thought the characters were very well fleshed out, such that I loved everybody that you're supposed to love and hated everybody that you're supposed to hate. I thought the movie was a very good adaptation, and I thought ALL the actresses did an incredible job with their characters but I did think they took a bit of the sting out of some of the events which was a little disappointing.
Latest Review: "The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician" by Tendai Huchu

User avatar
ALynnPowers
Posts: 8447
Joined: 21 Aug 2014, 07:14
2017 Reading Goal: 125
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 3
Bookshelf Size: 341
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-alynnpowers.html
Latest Review: "Jake and the man-eating Picnic Basket" by Peter Preston
Reading Device: B0051QVF7A
Publishing Contest Votes: 13

Post by ALynnPowers » 06 Sep 2014, 10:19

whero wrote:I loved this book. It made me feel sick to the stomach at times, but of course I laughed out loud at the "terrible, awful". The scale and depth of racism in societies old and new always surprises me, I was sheltered through out my youth that these things just don't even enter my head. I thought the characters were very well fleshed out, such that I loved everybody that you're supposed to love and hated everybody that you're supposed to hate. I thought the movie was a very good adaptation, and I thought ALL the actresses did an incredible job with their characters but I did think they took a bit of the sting out of some of the events which was a little disappointing.
I didn't read the book, but I saw the movie (didn't even know it was a book until then!) and just cried through most of it. Now I don't know if I want to read the book if some of the "sting" was taken out of events as portrayed in the movie. Eep! I would probably just open the book and start crying from beginning to end. :?
Latest Review: "Jake and the man-eating Picnic Basket" by Peter Preston

User avatar
cyndiha11
Posts: 248
Joined: 16 Sep 2014, 15:00
Currently Reading: The Banned Book about Love
Bookshelf Size: 3
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cyndiha11.html
Latest Review: "Empty Shell" by Ashley Fontainne

Post by cyndiha11 » 22 Sep 2014, 19:05

This book has so much passion in it! I loved it from the very beginning, and was horrified in certain circumstances. A great read :)
“I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you are not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
Latest Review: "Empty Shell" by Ashley Fontainne

SusanE
Posts: 17
Joined: 23 Sep 2014, 20:30
Bookshelf Size: 0
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-susane.html

Post by SusanE » 23 Sep 2014, 22:13

I adored this book. It really opened my eyes to how people of color were treated specifically in this time period in the South. I still see some of the same attitudes today (since I live in the South). The women were so strong and that's always something I love to see.

User avatar
RebekaV
Posts: 244
Joined: 29 Aug 2014, 03:27
Favorite Author: J K Rowling
Favorite Book: Jane Eyre
Currently Reading: Guardian of Deceit
Bookshelf Size: 6
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-rebekav.html
Latest Review: "Memories from the Front Line" by Henry Chew, Neil Jopson

Post by RebekaV » 04 Oct 2014, 17:11

We had to read it back in school a few years ago, but I loved it so much I went back to it afterwards. A really heart-wrenching story of South. And the fact that it had a good ending made me so happy.
"What's coming will come and we'll just have to meet it when it does." - J K Rowling
Latest Review: "Memories from the Front Line" by Henry Chew, Neil Jopson

User avatar
ssued2894
Posts: 54
Joined: 11 Sep 2014, 22:12
Currently Reading: The Guilt Club
Bookshelf Size: 400
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ssued2894.html
Latest Review: "Fate's Exchange" by Sasha Leigh

Post by ssued2894 » 13 Oct 2014, 12:15

I was told by one of my family members to read this book and so I did. I read it before the movie came out for it. The book is very touching and it turned out to be way better than I thought it was going to be. The story line is very good and the characters are very easy to attach to. I also agree that this book compares the characters in it to people in society and how we give each other stereotypes still today. This book was one of the books that I read that I actually cried at while reading it. I would most certainly recommend this book to read.
Latest Review: "Fate's Exchange" by Sasha Leigh

User avatar
MAIR7175
Posts: 3
Joined: 22 Oct 2014, 14:18
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by MAIR7175 » 22 Oct 2014, 14:29

This book was one of the best books I have read in a long time. The book had me emotionally involved with the women who were being treated so unfairly from the first page. I love a book the takes American history and adds a fictional story so you really feel as if you are in that time period.

User avatar
bookowlie
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 7713
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 09:52
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Favorite Book: The Lost Continent
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 321
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bookowlie.html
Latest Review: The Dating Policy by Suzanne Eglington

Post by bookowlie » 25 Oct 2014, 23:02

I read the book last year and found it realistic, yet heartbreaking. I grew up in the Northeast in the 60's, so I never witnessed the horrible, racist atmosphere of the Deep South. I also watched the movie, and actually felt the movie was better than the book....more powerful. Although I really liked the book, I felt that, in the hands of a better writer, the book could have been a masterpiece.

-- 27 Oct 2014, 11:53 --
bookowlie wrote:I read the book last year and found it realistic, yet heartbreaking. I grew up in the Northeast in the 60's, so I never witnessed the horrible, racist atmosphere of the Deep South. I also watched the movie, and actually felt the movie was better than the book....more powerful. Although I really liked the book, I felt that, in the hands of a better writer, the book could have been a masterpiece.
I wanted to add to my original comments that Abileen was one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. She had such a quiet dignity, in the face of dealing with daily humiliation by her employer and her employer's social circle. Abileen was still so kind and loving toward Mae Mobley, even though the little girl would probably grow up to be racist just like her parents.
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

User avatar
Dando
Posts: 205
Joined: 20 Nov 2014, 00:24
Bookshelf Size: 22
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dando.html
Latest Review: "The Broken Gift" by Daniel friedmann

Post by Dando » 06 Dec 2014, 00:10

I read The Help right before the movie was released and I enjoyed it very much. I did recommend it to some of my family and friends before the movie was being released. Then I saw the movie, reread the book, and started thinking critically and it became problematic for me.

I do agree with much of the criticism of this being a “white savior” book and I found it problematic that the white author took the voice of African American women and appropriates “black” dialect. I was especially struck by one criticism that I read that states “the structure of narratives like The Help underscores the failure of pop culture to acknowledge a central truth: Within the civil rights movement, white people were the help.” Many white Americans were actively involved in the civil rights movement; many even lost their lives in the struggle. However, it remains true that the real movers and shakers were African Americans and that white Americans maintained supportive ally roles.

I think this book could be harmless and entertaining if America had since reached greater racial equality and if white Americans had a better and more truthful understanding of the past and present experiences of oppression that continues to plague the African American community. Unfortunately, because these things have yet to be realized, trivializing these experiences does not help progress. I sympathize with the author’s emotional experience of growing up in Mississippi and her desire to share it. However, I must question her choice in a white savior heroine.
Latest Review: "The Broken Gift" by Daniel friedmann

gervaisk
Posts: 28
Joined: 27 Dec 2014, 19:59
Bookshelf Size: 13
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gervaisk.html

Post by gervaisk » 15 Jan 2015, 17:31

I enjoyed the Help. It was a very good book. I always love a hard headed characters that likes to break the rules. I really enjoy reading about the past. Historical books like the help really make us realize just how far we have come. I would recommend this book to anyone.

User avatar
aaa1234
Posts: 46
Joined: 18 Jan 2015, 03:15
Bookshelf Size: 40
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-aaa1234.html

Post by aaa1234 » 19 Jan 2015, 13:33

Love the book and the movie. It targets many issues with society. A decent read

jojo48713
Posts: 11
Joined: 28 Feb 2015, 17:37
Bookshelf Size: 27
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jojo48713.html
Latest Review: Audible Book of your Choice by Amazon

Post by jojo48713 » 01 Mar 2015, 00:28

I loved this book from the first page. I was so excited to read it that I finished it in two days. In college I wrote an essay about how amazing this books was and why it should be taught in the creative writing program because I felt I learned a lot as a writer from this book. It sits on my shelve in the favorites spot because I've read it about three times. This was a true work of art and I love it!

User avatar
VolkodavKO
Posts: 10
Joined: 01 Mar 2015, 20:30
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by VolkodavKO » 11 Mar 2015, 07:23

Ooops... I do not know this book so I leave this forum :D

User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 3152
Joined: 31 Jul 2006, 23:00
2018 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 25
Favorite Author: Voltairine de Cleyre
Currently Reading: The Woman in the Window
Bookshelf Size: 229
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-scott.html
Reading Device: B00L89V1AA
Publishing Contest Votes: 960
fav_author_id: 2660
Signature Addition: testtesttest

Post by Scott » 18 Mar 2015, 14:25

Surprising lesson from this book: I read The Help several years ago. In the story, Mabel constantly compliments the child she is babysitting. I quickly adopted this to my life and constantly complimented my son who was maybe 2 or 3 at the time. I do it ad nauseum. I still do it to this day. If you compliment an adult like that, they won't buy it. They would take it as cheesy or fake. But even now at 5-years-old when I just throw a stream of compliments at my son, I can see his eyes light up with that expression--"I am? I am super smart, strong, nice? I am a really good boy?" I just saw that face minutes ago, and I have this book to thank for it.

Lesson learned: Children believe everything you say, so compliment them often.
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid
testtesttest

User avatar
gali
Site Admin
Posts: 33212
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 119
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 105
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Currently Reading: Mine
Bookshelf Size: 1872
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gali.html
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
fav_author_id: 2484

Post by gali » 18 Mar 2015, 14:48

Scott wrote:Surprising lesson from this book: I read The Help several years ago. In the story, Mabel constantly compliments the child she is babysitting. I quickly adopted this to my life and constantly complimented my son who was maybe 2 or 3 at the time. I do it ad nauseum. I still do it to this day. If you compliment an adult like that, they won't buy it. They would take it as cheesy or fake. But even now at 5-years-old when I just throw a stream of compliments at my son, I can see his eyes light up with that expression--"I am? I am super smart, strong, nice? I am a really good boy?" I just saw that face minutes ago, and I have this book to thank for it.

Lesson learned: Children believe everything you say, so compliment them often.
I often compliment my son and you are right.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

Post Reply

Return to “Book of the month”