Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Have You Read…?

P1010617I just finished “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. I didn’t want to read this book. I checked it out and it sat on my coffee table for most of the month of July until it was time to take it back to the library. I tried to read it. I really did, but I couldn’t get past the first 30 pages. So I didn’t read it.

Now I had been told how good it was from friends on Facebook. Everyone raved about how they liked it and “You should read it!”. But I just couldn’t.

Long story short, I saw that there was a CD of the book at our library and since I listen to books all the time on my drive to and from school, I picked it up.

The first thing I noticed was it is “unabridged” which is always preferred. So there was 15 CD’s and that translates into approximately 15 hours. This is average for most of the books I listen to on CD. I like that because it lasts a couple of weeks of daily drives.

Now this may seem like a lot of time but when I thought of how thick the hardback book was I figured this would be a lot better to listen to instead of read. At least I was hoping so.

Well I have to say WOW! It was so GREAT! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed listening to this recording. There wasn’t just one voice reading there were 4! This is a bit of a departure from the norm also. Usually there is one or two actors reading the book word for word. And they do an amazing job. Changes in voices, for each character, it is fun! But these ladies were even better.

Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer and Cassandra Campbell are the four very talented actresses in The Help. Each actress has credits from well known TV and movie performances that you will recognize. The ladies use their talents to read/tell the story about the life of two African-American maids, and one white Junior League socialite in the year 1962, in the town of Jackson, Mississippi.

Now there are a whole lot more characters in the story but the core of the story is told by these 3 women. I was worried it would make me feel uncomfortable, like maybe I will feel bad about it even though I didn’t do anything wrong. (Why?)  But that was not what I felt when I listened to this book. Not even close.

Like in many other books the author Kathryn Stockett pulled me in and made me friends with all three of the women, so that I felt apart of the struggles and victories that occurred in the book. There is so much hope and humor in this book. I couldn’t wait to get in the car for the long drive home so I could find out what was going to happen next. I was invested in their lives and dreams I had to know what was on the next “page”.

I really don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if I’d read it myself as I did listening to the actresses bring it to life. I am so glad I took the hardback book back in July and waited to hear this on CD.

So consider on your next long trip, or series of short trips, listening to The Help. You’ll be glad you did.

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