Sunday, 2 January 2011

Just finished reading 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett. An easy read with a theme that resonates with so much of 'Helps' in India too. As the author writes she never questioned her own maid's views on her life. As a child who grew up with maids and help in India,I also took it for granted. The book deals with deeper issues. It is set in the 1960's and deals with the Jim Crow laws in action. Beautifully written in the rich language of the deep south it takes a few pages to familiarise oneself with the lingo. Soon the sentences with a bunch of negatives sounds so much more melodic, 'I ain't never seen nuthin ma'am'and it touches you. The characters are superbly drawn, two maids Abileen, the feisty Minny and the white liberal Miss Skeeter and you start visualising them. The small town Jackson in Missippi is the stereotypical small-minded deep south that we are familiar with.I enjoyed reading the book which had a tight plot making it a page turner.
I've made a start on Kishewar Desai's 'Witness the Night' which was shortlisted for the Man Asian Prize. The theme of foeticide is something I was loathe to read about but I was given the book so decided to make a start.Recommended by Khuswant Singh the 96 year old stalwart of Indian journalism and writer I'll see how it pans out.
Happy Reading!

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