The Help

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An excerpt from The Help 

"We need to decide on a title," I say and rub my temples. "I've been working on a few.  I think we should call it Colored Domestics and the Southern Families for Which They Work."
"Say what?" Minny says, looking at me for the first time.
"That's the best way to describe it, don't you think?" I say.
"If you got a corncob up your butt."
"This isn't fiction, Minny. It's sociology. It has to sound exact."
"But that doesn't mean it have to sound boring," Minny says.
"Aibileen," I sigh, hoping we can resolve this tonight. "What do you think?"
Aibileen shrugs and I can see already, she's putting on her peace-making smile. It seems she has to smooth things over every time Minny and I are in the same room. "That's a good title. A course you gone get tired a typing all that on top a ever page," she says.  I'd told her this is how it has to be done. 
"Well, we could shorten it a little....." I say and pull out my pencil. 
Aibileen scratches her nose, says, "What you think about just calling it...Help?"
"Help," Minny repeats, like she's never heard of the word. 
"Help," I say. 
Aibileen shrugs, looks down shyly, like she's a little embarrassed. "I ain't trying to take over your idea I just...I like to keep things simple, you know?"
"I guess Help sounds alright to me," Minny says and crosses her arms. 
"I like...Help," I say, because I really do. I add, "I think we'll still have to put the description underneath, so the category's clear, but I think that's a good title." 
"Good is right," Minny says. "Cause if this thing gets printed, Lord knows we gone need some." 

I usually try not to read what everyone else is's really just me being stubborn. Everyone has been reading it, and everyone has been raving about the movie, so I finally gave in and bought it!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a beautiful story of the lives of three women living in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962. Two of them, Aibileen and Minny, are black maids, and Skeeter is a young aspiring writer who loved the maid who raised her like a mother.

Skeeter and Aibileen cross paths thanks to a writing column that Skeeter secures at the local newspaper that focuses on the secrets to keeping a house clean (which Skeeter knows nothing about). Skeeter begins interviewing Aibileen in search of the answers to her readers' questions, and a life changing bond forms.

What started as an idea to tell their story, became a book that moved the city of Jackson. You'll fall in love with Aibileen's adoration for Mae Mobley, the white baby she cares for, and you'll laugh at Minny's big mouth that often gets her into lots of trouble.

Skeeter's heart to change things will make you want to make a revolution of your own. She's not afraid to stand up for what she believes in her heart to be true about the black women of Mississippi.

You won't be able to stop reading it until the last page and then you'll wish there were more.

And Aibileen's beautiful words will be stuck in your heart when you're done,
"You is kind. You is smart. You is important." 

You'll love it. I know you will. 47 of a year of writing..... 

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