Bookworm Feb ’12 – The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Good evening Curvy Bookworms! Pull up a chair and be sure to pull out February’s pick – The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Oops, seems like I skipped a few steps. The Curvy Bookworm is a new monthly book club for the FABULOUS readers of Curvy! It’s going to be like sitting around with your best girlfriends having a cup of coffee and discussing the latest book. Each month, we’ll meet back here and I’ll post a new book along with suggestions for your own Curvy Bookworm club discussions. For the month of February, I would like to honor Black History month and have “The Help” as our first book club pick.

When it comes to book clubs – there are (thankfully!) no rules or etiquette. You have the freedom to set up your book club any way that you want! (And who doesn’t love to have absolute freedom like that!) Want your book club to be only the lovely ladies of your family? How about pick a book and each month (or week if you would like) spend a few hours at a place that holds significant meaning for your family? Want it to be the ladies from work? How about grabbing the latest novel – and a Cosmo – at your favorite restaurant after work? The possibilities for picking your members and where to hold your meetings/get together are endless! The best part of holding a book club is, well, the books! For the Curvy Bookworm – I’ll do a mix of all genres of novels within the current bestseller lists plus Curvy Magazine staff favorites.

The Help came to life in 2009 and has stayed strong on the New York Times Bestseller list ever since. It also made its cinema debut in 2011. The Help tells the story of three women (who acquired the help – no pun intended – of quite a few more women along the way) in showing what happens behind closed doors of Caucasian households in the South in the early 1960s by the women who run them – the African American help. The book also showed the daily personal struggles of the women interviewed. The story is presented to us in three different points of view: Skeeter, the young Caucasian woman who doesn’t believe in the racial injustices of the time and wants to show not only her editor – but the world – that there is more than what meets the eye when it comes to the women who essentially gave life to the households. Aibileen  is the first maid that we are introduced to. Her story runs far beyond helping Skeeter with her book. We see her daily struggles and triumphs throughout the book. And last but certainly not least, we hear from Minny, Aibileen’s best friend and another maid that Skeeter joins forces with. The Help wades through the murky waters of the early 1960s and its terrible racial injustices. We see hopes and dreams, failures and disappointments, love and laughter, heartbreak and pain throughout this story. But there is a true underlying theme of hope that runs through every sentence and every page. The Help is an amazing story that will leave you amazed at the strength of the women depicted and with hope that you too have the same strength.

(From L to R – Skeeter (Emma Stone) Minny (Octavia Spencer) and Aibileen (Viola Davis) from the 2011 adaptation)

Now here’s the fun part ladies, its question time! It doesn’t matter if you’re discussing over drinks or at home on the phone in your jammies with your best pal – here are a few questions to help you jump start the conversation:


How are Skeeter and Aibileen a like? How are they different?

How was the movie like the book? How was it different?

What would you define the theme of the book as?

Do you think the book is true to history?

What do you think of the style of the novel? Did you like that you heard from various views?

What are your thoughts on the ending? Would you have liked to see it pan out differently?

What do you think of Hilly and the “terrible awful thing” incident?

What is your view on Celia Foote and her situation?


Well ladies, it’s been fun. Be sure to pick up your copy of The Help and check out the movie! I’ll see you at the end of the month with March’s pick The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks! Happy reading!

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