Monday, January 18, 2010

There Is No Place For Me Way Down Upon The Swanee River

Flower, y'all.

I finally read The Help. I have been passing it over in favor of other titles it since I got a reader's copy last year. It is the cover of the book that has kept it in the to be read pile. That cover is one of my favorites from last year but something held me back. It was the setting. I am really not the reader for Southern novels written in the last 30 years. The cutey-cute names annoy me, the colloquialisms annoy me and there is always, always, always some kind of wisdom spewing child, grandparent, hermit or dog ready to advise the hero/heroine or anyone else special enough to hear them. Actually I feel the same way about Irish novels of the last 1,000 years. Any other parts of the globe and I have an interest but those two areas? If I see that a book is set in the Southern U.S. or Ireland I put the book down immediately (as if it were on fire)and look elsewhere.

And so? So I finally succumbed to all the praise and read Help. And? I enjoyed chunks of The Help and I loved the idea of the book. The backstairs tales of the servants would appeal to me in any era and almost any setting. That's a good thing as there is sure to be many more novels with the same starting point since Help has done so well. That's okay. There will be a few good books and many craptastic books, but that's as it is at any time for any genre.

Help had all my dislikes for novels set in the South. I didn't heart this book but I liked it enough that I will be interested in the author, Kathryn Stockett's next book even if it is set in the South.


P. S. I am in the minority (by a lot) when it comes to not loving The Help. If you are thinking of buying a copy (and according to many other people who have read it you should) remember to get it at your fav, independent bookstore.

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