Monday, September 05, 2011

Turn the Page...Tuesday

Where the heck did August go and how is it possibly time for Turn the Page...Tuesday again?  Sheesh!!

August was full of our daughters wedding and an eleven day work road trip, so reading wasn't top priority or even possible some days, but looking back, I am surprised to find that I still managed to finish a couple of books.  One of them was wonderful and one was painful.  Below are my reviews -
The Swimming PoolThe Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Hmmm...what to say about this book. It sounded interesting and I was looking forward to reading it - the plot was a seven year old murder that somehow was tangled around the lives of two different families, a clandestine love affair and summer on Cape Cod. Sounded intriguing. What I found was a disjointed novel describing the events that lead up to the murder, interspersed with present-day drama from the families involved. I felt that the author didn't do a good job of jumping from one time frame to another or from one character to another. It seemed very abrupt.

Betsy was the woman murdered; I felt nothing for her as her character was not given any time or depth. Marcella, the woman having an affair with the murdered woman's husband, is now, seven years later, having an affair with the murdered woman's son since his father had died of heartbreak after the murder. Can you say yuck? I kept reading, thinking the plot would redeem itself, but towards the end, I found myself just skimming so that the pain would end.

View all my reviews

Thankfully my next choice was wonderful!

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

I loved this book! I usually mark my favorite passages and quote them in my review, but it would be simply ridiculous to tap out all 451 pages, now wouldn't it?

This book grabbed me right from the beginning and kept me turning pages long into the night. I'm really impressed with the writing style and the ease that the author takes us from one persons perspective to another throughout the entire story. I really felt that the characters all had a lot of depth to them, letting the reader either connect with a character or loathe them. Not being from the south myself, this isn't a lifestyle that I am familiar with, but Kathryn Stockett wrote the stories so that I feel as if I was there. She picked such a hard time in the south to set her story in. A time when racial tensions were running extremely high and horrible things were happening to both the blacks and the white "sympathizers". We meet Miss Skeeter, a young woman who was raised and loved by her family maid. Skeeter wants to find out what happened to the woman who raised her and she wants to make some changes that will make life easier for the black families in America. Being a writer, Skeeter sets off to interview as many maids as will talk to her, telling their stories about the hardships, and pleasures, they have found working for white families. Jackson, Mississippi is one of the most dangerous places at this time and Skeeter and the maid's that finally agree to talk to her for her book are in great danger everytime they meet. Emotions are high when the book finally goes to press. Will the people of their community read it? Will they know who the people in the stories represent, even though names have been changed? Was it worth the risk?

Okay - I'll do it. Here are two of my favorite passages-

Minny is one of the maids that Skeeter is interviewing. It took awhile to talk her into it, but she finally decided to do it. Skeeter has to be really careful with Minny, making sure that she doesn't scare her off. In this passage, Minny is talking to her friend Aibileen, who Sketter is interviewing as well.
'"Oh, fore I forget, Miss Skeeter wants to come over early Tuesday night," Aibileen says. "Bout seven. You make it then?"

"Lord," I say, getting irritated all over again. "What am I doing? I must be crazy, giving the sworn secrets a the colored race to a white lady."

"It's just Miss Skeeter, she ain't like the rest."

"Feel like I'm talking behind my own back," I say.

In this next passage, we are listening to Minnie again, after a tough run-in with her mean husband.
' "I guess I got to go," I say, even though I'd rather spend the rest of my life right here in Aibileen's cozy kitchen, having her explain the world to me. That's what I love about Aibileen, she can take the most complicated things in life and wrap them up so small and simple, they'll fit right in your pocket.'

If you haven't yet read "The Help", pick it up. You will be so glad that you did!
Today I took myself to a matinee showing of The Help.  Like all movie's, they left out a few important parts, but all in all they did a really good job of following the story line and I really enjoyed the movie.  Yeah!

Pop over to Adrienne's Some of a Kind to find out what others have read this month...Where had your reading taken you?


Jill said...

Congrats on your daughter's nuptials!

I loved the book The Help, too... can't wait to get out to see the movie.

Jeni said...

I can sure relate to the "busy" month scene! I've been kind of off limits in doing much of anything since early-to-mid July until last weekend as I was totally engrossed with putting together a cookbook for our church women's group! Finally, last Saturday, I got everything mailed out to the publisher so now, I have a bit of free time from that venture until mid-to-late September anyway. I even stopped embroidery work during that time span too so am very behind schedule with those projects now. But I did pick up a copy of "The HelP and DID read it -started it about 4 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon and finished it before noon the next day as I COuld. Not. Put. It. Down! Awesome book, totally awesome. My daughter then read it too and says the same as I do about it! Can't recommend it near enough!

Adrienne said...

Great review of The Help! How could you not love those ladies - I just wanted to hug them all and make all the bad stuff go away.

Stacey's Treasures said...

I just started reading "The Help".
I just got a 190 hour course I'm taking for work so it might take me along time to read but I've still been carrying this book with me ever where I go. You never know when a spare moment might come along for reading.

Sara said...

I have heard such good things about The Help! I am on the library waiting list, waiting, waiting....

Run Lori Run said...

I loved reading The Help too and liked the movie as well...

Susan said...

I loved reading The Help and am looking forward to seeing the movie. Such great character development!