05 May 2010

The Help

Dear Friends,

Night before last I stayed up far too late reading. Finishing the current book on my nightstand. Okay, so I finished one of the books on my nightstand. I currently have The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, March, by Geraldine Brooks, and my study bible. If you come downstairs there are 2 more sitting on my end table and about 14 stacks of unread novels over in the corner. They drive Josh crazy. But, the one that has captured me and held my attention for the last 4-5 days is The Help. I took it up on the recommendation of a few friends who all raved about it. Also, Momastery is doing a book club on it, which you should all join in on... but that's not for a few weeks and I read far too fast. So, if you're going to participate in that one and want to skip my ramblings, please do. No hard feelings.

For those of you who don't know, The Help is a book set in 1962-64 in the deep south of Mississippi. It covers race relations between white female employers and the African-American "help"/maids that they employed. I love me a good story. I will read just about anything and most anything can hold my attention, but not too many will keep me up late on a work night knowing that I'll be exhausted the next morning. I did not want to put this book down. Originally it was for the story. The characters spoke from the pages to me and it was like I was sitting on the sofa next to them hearing their stories and the conversations. I could almost imagine myself with the southern belle dresses and hair, I could almost smell the fried chicken, feel the humidity in the air. This book is alive within the pages.

But, for me, the essence of this book didn't come until the end. The truth that was spoken in just a few lines brought me to tears, and honestly, while I cry at Hallmark commercials, ballet, and just about any Drew Barrymore romance, books don't often move me the way this one did. I sat in my bed and read and reread these few lines over and over and got the pages wet with tears. The honesty and beauty. That someone has put into words how I want my life and friendships and writing to be.

"We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought."

Of course, this book is about the inequalities of the south during the Civil Rights movement in the 60s. It's discussing the sameness of those people as well. It's talking about how I want this site, these writings, to be a place where anyone can say anything and feel nothing but support and love. That we're not alone with our thoughts, that we are more similar than we are different. Different races, different religions, different sexes, different sexual orientations, different political ideologies, different hair colors... we are all one. We are human, covered in a beautiful array of skin, a stunning array of color. We are a rainbow, we are connected because of a beautiful prism that shatters us into light and dark and yet we all come from the same sunbeam. Combined we converge back into one white light because in the depth of our souls, inside our hearts, we are the same. That's what I want to offer to my friends. Come and tell me what your story is, because it my be mine. If you would like to share with everyone else, I would love for you to. I would love to offer you the same love that you have offered to me with your comments and emails. Tell me about your daily lives, your struggles and triumphs.

Because at the core, at the depth, at the soul "Not that much separates us." Thank you, Kathryn Stockett for finding the words that my heart has felt for years.


  1. One of my favorite books EVER. LOVE IT

  2. Really nice post, Carin. I will have to read this book.