Round Rock New Neighbors is a social organization of women welcoming women in the Round Rock area since 1978. Both "new" and "old" neighbors are welcome. For more information: rrnewneighbors.org [Barnes & Noble requires that RRNN's book club be open to the public, so you do not need to be an RRNN member to attend book club, and both men and women are welcome and do attend. ]

Literary Events

Literary Events

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The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Series events will be listed here.
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Round Rock Public Library Book Group meets monthly at 7:00-8:30 PM. Check the library website for more information, or ask Carla.
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Discussing The Help Brings Back Memories

Although we started to discuss characters in The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, the discussion soon turned to sharing about our distant past experiences with racism. The shared stories were fascinating! Some of these experiences highlighted "color blindness," mostly among ourselves or others as children. Some comments told about encounters we had at young ages with black people we liked and admired. Others involved racism as we saw it practiced by our elders, mostly before the 1960s. Some sharing stemmed from life in small towns in Texas. A little was about today's problems with racism, but not much. Is that because there is much less racism now than there was during the time of The Help? That would be another topic. Maybe next month...

The author's statement at the end of the book explains the origins of the book; the author was raised with a black maid. Jennifer, who presented the book to us, told us that because there was only one bath tub in the Stockett house, the maid shared the tub...but had to bathe in her clothes. That disturbs me! Stockett encountered some anger about the book, including some from her own relatives and some from readers who objected to her writing from a black point of view. One black maid who worked for Stockett's family at some time saw herself in the book and is currently suing the author. If anyone sees any follow-up on this case, please let our book group know!

The discussion started with the question of what motivated Hilly. Candy suggested she was scared, and Sandy thought she was just mean and manipulative. There was some agreement that she was intimidated by Skeeter's college degree.

We thought about whether these maids in the real world would love the children they cared for, as in the book. We questioned whether "the pie" was a realistic form of revenge. Not sure why, but we didn't dwell on "the pie."

We only briefly touched on the literary quality of The Help. Consensus was that this was an excellent book, especially for a first-time author!

The Help has been on the NY Times Best Seller list for close to 100 weeks! A movie is planned for release this summer.

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