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Nancy's Notes - August 25, 2011

"The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, "The Escape" by Barbara Delinsky.
Well, we’ve had our copies of “The Help” for a couple of years and I hadn’t read it yet. Last week one of our copies was sitting at the desk and I decided to read it before I went to the movie. I knew that was a bad decision. Every time I read the book first the movie doesn’t live up to expectations. I must say that the book is now one of my favorites. It takes place in Mississippi during the 1950s and begins when Skeeter, the main character, returns home to Jackson after her college graduation. Having grown up in a society where maids were the norm, she wasn’t aware how “the help” was treated until her return. Hoping to become a full-fledged journalist, she decides she must write something controversial in order to get printed. When she secretly interviews local maids about the treatment of blacks by their current and former bosses the community becomes a dangerous place for all those involved in her book.  I hope my opinion doesn’t sway you from going to the movie. It is fun to see how the story comes across on screen and compare the interpretations. 
    Barbara Delinsky is a favorite of mine when I just want an easy read. Her newest is entitled, “The Escape”, the story of a young woman who feels stuck in a life she doesn’t want. Emily Aulenback is thirty-two attorney, married to a young lawyer, and living in Manhatten. She had once dreamed of representing victims of corporate abuse. However, now she finds herself working for those corporations fighting the victims. She no longer feels a connection with husband, friends or family. Acting on impulse, Emily leaves work early one day, goes home, packs her bag, and takes off. Following her gut rather than her mind, she heads north toward New Hampshire to a small town where she spent a summer during her college years. This is the spot where her life first started to go wrong. Even though her return is painful, she knows that if she is to right her life, she must start here.
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