I hope it was helpful to have 2 mos. to read this time. Let me know your thoughts on the time. Is it too much time and you forget or do you like the extra time?
For July and August we read:
By Kathryn Stockett
I really liked this book. It talked about a time and a people I didn’t know too much about. The maids of this era weren’t far removed from their house slave ancestors. Yet I loved how the author brought them to life. They had families, fear and injustices of their own. And their lives were truly intertwined with the families they worked for. For better or worse.
This book made me disappointed. Disappointed in humanity of that era. That others could be treated with such disdain. These are the souls raising our children. And loving our children despite how their parents behave. Walking with danger and treading on broken glass daily is no way to live. Yet it was reality for them.
I am also proud. That we have evolved from this time. That we can treat all people with dignity. To learn from others regardless of who they are or how they were born. To realize that everyone has something of value and if we just look for that value, our lives will be richer.
I would hope that was the intended outcome these characters risked their very lives for. And I know we as a people are not perfect in any way. Hopefully the writing of this book will remind us of how far we have come and what we want to continually strive for.
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this book. I enjoy recommending good books to others, but the BEST part is hearing what they thought of them. Please leave me your review in the comment section. I will be responding to you through the comments to keep the discussion going. Please check back often to see what others are saying and join in the conversation. You can comment as often as you like. Leave your review, ask a question you had while reading, answer a discussion question, comment on another readers review and generally talk about the book. If you’d like to, you can subscribe to comments from this post so you don’t miss out on the conversation.
I have the best readers and am so looking forward to your thoughts on this book!!
P.S. also tell me what you thought of the time line for book club. Was two months a good time or too long??
Here are some discussion questions to get the conversation going:
1. Who was your favorite character? Why?
2. What do you think motivated Hilly? On the one hand she is terribly cruel to Aibileen and her own help, as well as to Skeeter once she realizes that she can’t control her. Yet she’s a wonderful mother. Do you think that one can be a good mother but, at the same time, a deeply flawed person?
3. Like Hilly, Skeeter’s mother is a prime example of someone deeply flawed yet somewhat sympathetic. She seems to care for Skeeter— and she also seems to have very real feelings for Constantine. Yet the ultimatum she gives to Constantine is untenable; and most of her interaction with Skeeter is critical. Do you think Skeeter’s mother is a sympathetic or unsympathetic character? Why?
4. How much of a person’s character would you say is shaped by the times in which they live?
5. Did it bother you that Skeeter is willing to overlook so many of Stuart’s faults so that she can get married, and that it’s not until he literally gets up and walks away that the engagement falls apart?
6. Do you believe that Minny was justified in her distrust of white people?
7. Do you think that had Aibileen stayed working for Miss Elizabeth, that Mae Mobley would have grown up to be racist like her mother? Do you think racism is inherent, or taught?
8. From the perspective of a twenty-first century reader, the hairshellac system that Skeeter undergoes seems ludicrous. Yet women still alter their looks in rather peculiar ways as the definition of “beauty” changes with the times. Looking back on your past, what’s the most ridiculous beauty regimen you ever underwent?
9. The author manages to paint Aibileen with a quiet grace and an aura of wisdom about her. How do you think she does this?
10. Do you think there are still vestiges of racism in relationships where people of color work for people who are white?
11. What did you think about Minny’s pie for Miss Hilly? Would you have gone as far as Minny did for revenge?
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!!