On Christmas Day 2009, my husband gave me a Kindle. He knew we would be in and out of airports in 2010, and he wanted me to be able to buy books on a whim because (1) I’m a voracious reader, (2) we travel often, and (3) I don’t sleep, on planes no matter how long the flight. Well I purchased The Help on my Kindle, but never got around to reading it until last month. I knew they were making a movie of the book, and still I had yet to really sink my “book teeth” into it. I love Viola Davis, and once I read that she had been cast I continued to vacillate back and forth on when I was going to read it.
I put off reading the book for over a year. I told friends who had read the book I would read it when I had down time. Basically, I made excuses. Fast forward to my family reunion, 4th of July weekend in Louisiana: I listened to stories of what my family, my history had gone through, and tales of them being the help. I said to myself – “Julia it’s time you read this book.” I convinced one of my cousins’ Cassandra, who had just gotten a Kindle, to read the book and discuss it with me.
I started the book on the long trek back to DC and could not put it down. Three days later I was done. Kathryn Stockett got the dialect, the oppression, the triumph, and the spirit of the Black help during this time. I reflected back to Mama Dear (my grandmother and original beauty girl) who regaled stories of her life and how those stories paved a better for me.
I’m can’t wait to watch The Help next week. I know the movie won’t be as good as the book, but I love to see characters come to life on the big screen. I’m looking forward to putting a face to Abileen, Minnie, Skeeter, and Holly. I think they cast the right people, for the role which is unusual for Hollywood.
This books represents thousands of people like me with family who have been The Help. It may represent you or someone you know. These stories need to be told, and this is why I love reading. Reading transports you like nothing else. Over the past few months I realized that I was watching more television than normal. My Kindle was full of great books that needed to be read and knowledge that I needed to gain. The Help brought back that perspective for me. Reading is much more than fundamental. Reading is life.
Happy Weekend and Bisous!