15 March 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This isn't the sort of book I would ordinarily pick up but I noticed its popularity at the library and decided to make it our February book club selection. When I told the group that we would be reading it, one of the ladies got quite excited. She had already read it, and though she didn't plan on re-reading it, she very much looked forward to our discussion the following month.

I soon understood why. As I said, I would never have picked this book up on my own, but listening to the audiobook in my car had me wishing for longer stoplights and surreptitiously sitting an extra minute or two in the car before turning off the engine.

More people turned up for this book club than for those in the past months. Maybe it had something to do with the weather. Maybe it had something to do with word of mouth. I know of at least one regular who got a new lady to come based on the awesomeness of this book.  Most of these women experienced desegregation and the Civil Rights movement in their own lives. Granted, we're in Illinois, so nothing was so structured as in the South, with the Jim Crow laws. The women shared stories from their own lives and the discussion was indeed quite lively. I easily recommend this book to anyone, especially those like me for which it may be a bit out of the comfort zone.

P.S. "Watch out for the chocolate pie." -- The only input the woman who had already read it gave to those of us who hadn't read it yet. Hahaha.

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