THE HELP

KATHLEEN STOCKETT

“The times they are a-changin’.”  The time is the early 60’s. All the good homes in Mississippi have black maids who not only clean their houses but raise their children. Sometimes the babies think the maids are  their mothers. The maids make little money, work long hours, put up with stupid rules and chores that their Mrs. makes them follow and do. They over hear the white ladies talking about how stupid their maids are, how lazy, disease ridden. The won’t even let the maids use the same toilet; they build the maid a toilet out in the garage so they don’t catch the negra’s diseases. But there is one young woman who know some thing is wrong. Skeeter returns from college so wanting to see the maid who raised her, Constantine. But Constantine is gone and no one is saying why or where. Skeeter wants to be a writer and begins soliciting stories from The Help. Stories that white people have never heard before.

Definitely a must read.

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BALDUR’S SONG

DAVID ARNASON
The story of Icelandic immigrants to Northern Manitoba is told  through the story of Baldur. Baldur, an ambitious young man from New Iceland, in Northern Manitoba, comes to Winnipeg at the turn of the last century to make his name and fortune. His aptitude for music helps launch his career but it is his fortunate meeting of Johnny Ashdown that propelled him onto fortune. They met at Baldur’s first job, shining shoes at the railway station in Winnipeg. His next job was playing quitatr and singing at a house of ill repute. Ashdown has big dreams and is not afraid to chase them and make them reality. He also wants Baldur as a partner though the reason for that is never really explained.
Song is a quick and easy read. Quite delightful.

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THE ORCHARD

THERESA WEIR

Weir’s memoir reads amazingly like fiction; she is that great of a writer. She apply describes the dysfunctional family she grew up in and the dysfunctional family that she marries into. She went from a crazy mother to a cold, hateful mother-in-law. Rejected by her husbands family only made her resolve to stay grow stronger.

A must read.

She is a prolific writer. I would like to try some of her fiction.

 

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