Review of The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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October 12, 2014 by Beth - I SNIFF BOOKS blog

the help book coverTHE HELP by Kathyrn Stockett and published by the Berkley Publishing Group.  ISBN 978-0425245132. Move tie-in paperback edition, 534 pages. Publication date:  June 28, 2011.

I read THE HELP a few years ago and as I recall, I quite liked it.  I definitely would have given it a 4-star, maybe even 5-star review at that time. However, my re-read is most definitely not going well.  This passage caused me to groan and just give up:

“I stand in front of the window and unbutton my blouse.  Carefully, I turn the dial to ‘3.’  Because I long to feel nothing.  I want to be frozen inside.  I want the icy cold to blow directly on my heart.” [p 325]

Yup, page 325.  I might add there are still 200+ pages too go.  I love a big thick book, but this book might could’ve used a bit of editing to shorten its length.  I kept plodding along, but reading THE HELP was beginning to feel like a chore (no pun intended). Although admittedly, some of the story was enjoyable and I was emotionally moved a few times.

I skimmed some unfavorable reviews and I can’t help but agreeing with some of the negative things that other readers pointed out — mostly related to dialect, character development, and length of story.  I suppose I didn’t notice these things the first time around.  But now I can’t help it.  And it bugs me to the point that I really can’t enjoy the story so this book is a DNF.  However, the book has over 6,000 5-star ratings on amazon and over half a million (!!) 5-star reviews on goodreads, so clearly this book has been enjoyed by many people.


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