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Book Club
June 11, 2013
10:53 pm
Michelle Brown
Guest

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Another space in which the books discussed in both halves of our book club (which is split into two because there are so many of us) can be mulled over!

2013:

March: The Night Circus – Erin Morgernstern
May: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? – Jeanette Winterson
July: The Help – Kathryn Stockett
September: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
November: Gone Girl

July 8, 2013
7:31 pm
Michelle Brown
Guest

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I finished The Help a few weeks ago, and I'll be in France for the Book Club.

*Mild spoiler alert*

I loved the richness of the sensory descriptions, and I was surprised that it got increasingly tense, I kept expecting the tension to drop at some point but it just kept building! I thought that the funny, gentle elements were just the right level of relief amongst all the apprehension. It must have been really weird for the author to write in the accent of a black Mississippi maid in the 60's, given the background she writes about herself and how she came to write the book. I wonder (didn't find out – maybe someone knows) whether she got any help with that, to maintain authenticity. I imagine a cringing doubt, a risk, an embarrassing possibility of accidentally creating a horrible caricature might have gone through her mind, rather than the (in my opinion) down-to-earth, complex characters she ended up writing.

Minny reminded me of my little sister, in a good way. That straight-forward, not taking any rubbish from haughty people kind of way. I like that she served up a cold slice of revenge, in the most wonderfully horribly literal way possible! I was dying to find out what the terrible awful was. Excellent.

I really liked Skeeter, and felt that pang of well-placed disappointment, and being brought back to reality when you realise that she's still quite racist really. It made me think of it being like a little mirror of what Aibileen says about the kids who love her always having a limit that they hit, when a some age they devalue her and it's always the same story.

The "League" and all its cliquey, mean-spirited, small-minded, nasty-willed trappings, run by the larger than life yet fragile and narcissistic Hilly is something that I think serves as a hilarious and scary warning of how we shouldn't be running our WI!! I liked the complexity of the character though, and how you couldn't simply see her as a baddie what with how good a friend she at some points was to Skeeter, in her own way. Please, let's not ever, ever elect a Hilly as president of our WI though, I think I'd do a runner!

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