Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Two books and a movie

I've been on a bender, a movie and book bender that is.

The Help
The best book I've read recently is The Help by Katherine Stockett. It takes place during the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi, on the cusp of the Civil Rights Movement. It's the story of the black maids, "the help", who raised white families' children and ran their households but were not allowed to use their bathrooms nor eat at their tables. The book has its funny moments and is also very sad; it's troubling that this wasn't that long ago and that things aren't much better in some states today. This sparked an interesting conversation with my own mother, who grew up in Memphis. I love the way it was written, in the voices of the help, and I'd like Eldest Daughter to read it.

Sarah's Key
Similar to The Help from the perspective of "dang, I wish it wasn't in such recent history" was Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay. Two stories interlace in short alternating chapters; the first is of a ten-year-old Parisian girl born to Jewish parents who is captured in the round-up of June 16, 1942 and imprisoned with almost 10,000 others in an indoor cycling arena awaiting transportation to Auschwitz. The second is of an American journalist researching for a story on the Vél d'Hiv, and who stumbles on the trail of Sarah's family, and becomes obsessed with discovering her fate.

The child's-eye viewpoint makes it refreshing although overall, the book is troubling. It is beautifully written, though.

Dear John
And then there was fluff: the movie adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' Dear John. No, I did not read the book. It's a romantic tear jerker with plenty of eye candy. It was a good diversion for two girlfriends Superbowl Sunday morning.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Thanks for the book reviews, I will read Help now...loved Sarah's Key..want the girls to read that one too!