Thursday, April 07, 2011

Book Study in My Family Room

The Help. By Kathryn Stockett. A best seller for 98 weeks. Soon to be a movie.

It is the book being read by a literature group comprised of high school students, their moms, friends, and neighbors -- right here. We recently finished To Kill a Mockingbird, the perfect precursor for our current read. The Help is the story of black women working for white women as domestics in the deep south at the beginning of the civil rights movement. Insightful, to say the least.

Last weekend I read several chapters out loud to my husband as we rode home from Rochester. The novel is narrated by three different voices, all in Southern dialects. To say I had a lot of fun reading it would be an understatement, and honey loved it, too!

I couldn't put the book down, and read through it in no time. Our weekly assignments are 6 chapters at a clip, so now I get to review each week.

Meanwhile I have been inspired to check out some additional reading materials from the local library -- books that were referenced in the novel. I have Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, The Catcher in the Rye, and Invisible Man on my nightstand. One more will be borrowed: Black Like Me.

I am thoroughly enjoying the study of this period of American history. The Help is set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962. I was seven years old at that time -- too young to know what was happening, and the history was too current to be studied in school. And so, I feel as though I'm viewing a scene through a window that I've not closely observed before. Fascinating. Bona fide fascination.

Tomorrow night some of us will supplement the study by watching Driving Miss Daisy. And we've only just begun brainstorming additional resources. We were told about an upcoming miniseries on the Kennedy family. And PBS will be airing a show on Freedom Riders. Something tells me it will take some doing to exhaust the possibilities!

If you are free on Thursday afternoons at 1:00 you are welcome to drop in and join the discussion. You just might learn a thing or two. I know I am!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much fun!

11:12 AM  

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