Saturday, March 20

Some Reviews

The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I know I would have loved actually reading it, but I chose to listen to it for the sake of enjoying the Southern accents. I finished listening today on our way back from Luxembourg and Ryan even enjoyed catching the end I think. I loved it, loved it! In fact, for the past week I've even found myself phrasing things I say like them. Oh how I love Southern women's accents! The handful of southern women I've ever known are strong and gracious and this book does not disappoint!

This novel is told from the perspectives of three women in Jackson, Mississippi in the mid-1960s at the height of the national civil rights movement. A young aspiring, privileged white college grad comes to write a book with a couple of black women, domestic help for white families in their town. The black women tell the stories of their lives as maids in the segregated South - the good and the bad. I love how all these women take care of their own in tight knit communities!

One of my favorite things was that I could really relate to Skeeter wanting to write something good, enjoying that process but not knowing where to start and realizing how much she doesn't know!

This book will forever be a favorite of mine. I really liked the spectrum of experiences captured for Help. It seemed like an honest depiction of that time and gave me a good perspective on how far things have come. I have never been a huge fan of our current President, but I am more grateful after having read this for all that has come about to allow him to be there. It reminds me of the tears of joy I saw in peoples' faces election night and feeling that swelling on their behalf. That's real.

The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas. I don't know if it had anything to do with reading a musty original 1942 copy from the library, but I just didn't get into this one. A Roman soldier is ordered to crucify Jesus, wins his Robe in a gamble and eventually becomes a Christian and pay the ultimate price. I liked the book for all the reasons it gets great reviews but the only reason I was able to stay with it was for book group this week. The great parts were fabulous and very thought provoking but there was just too much in between those moments. I didn't hanker to read it - felt more like an assignment that I happened to really enjoy now and then rather than a book I couldn't put down.

I'm done with the book but didn't finish reading it with only about 100 pages left. I'm just ready to move on. I was totally excited in the beginning because I really liked the classic movie Ben Hur. Ryan popped that bubble and told me the entire story line to clarify they were similar but separate. Since I already know how it ends, I'm ready for my next book . . . Stones into Schools, the "Three Cups of Tea" followup.

Juno is on AFN Movie right now. Ah, this flick makes me laugh and cry hard but without anyone dying like in "Steel Magnolias." I really appreciate how they handle teen pregnancy, abortion, and adoptive parents through Juno's young eyes. Fun, cute music and Ellen Page is just plain fabulous in it! Jennifer Garner holding her baby at the end with Allison Janney looking on kills me! Nothing compares to that feeling of holding your baby for the first time! NOTE: Please check a parent movie review site if you don't want to be surprised by irreverent content.

Anyone been watching the new WWII Pacific series? AFN is starting to show it here and I know it'll be good but hard to watch. I've read James Bradley's two great books about aspects of the Pacific Theater and a few others here and there to know that this was a much different war front. After visiting the American Cemetery in Luxembourg today where General Patton and 5,000 servicemen rest, it's quite sobering to imagine. We saw a great military museum with many full scale dioramas with authentic gear depicting scenes from the Sept 1944 Battle of the Bulge. I'm working on mapping my Papa's WWII trek through Europe and while he was much further south and not in this battle, it sure began to make things sink in.