My first impressions of this book were not exactly inspiring – after reading and analysing To Kill a Mockingbird several times it took a while to get started. Yet after a few chapters, I realised (after the 2 months putting it off) that this book had a lot of potential. It didn’t disappoint one bit.
Unlike To Kill a Mockingbird and similar novels (which aren’t exactly my cup of tea), this has a flowing and engulfing storyline. I literally couldn’t put this book down during certain areas. There could be several reasons why this is the case. I think the most prominent of these (excluding the fact it’s been written outstandingly) is because it’s been written recently and set in fairly recent times (some 50 years ago). Unlike other novels focusing on the same issues, this one seems more relevant even though you could argue it parallels problems existing for centuries. Not only are details more recent in the novel, the writing style feels very modern and clean which made it a lot easier to read for me.
Similar to some other books I’ve read previously – this book uses three characters who tell the story. Unlike these other books, this is pulled off immaculately – every personality is crisp whilst the southern accents are realistic yet readable. It’s very easy to take this feature for granted when writing but Kathryn Stockett doesn’t – she uses it with style and makes full use of its potential. Consequently this novel tells the tales of many different characters and gives a rich perspective.
There are parts of this book where I laughed, wept and was quite unnerved by this book, as it takes you back through modern history. Stockett’s writing portrays all of these emotions and makes great use of them.
Obviously the fact it is set in a prominent historical period is a great credit to the book – finding out about this controversial time was always going to be attractive to me. And seeing as books are meant to be interesting (something lost in the mix nowadays), this doesn’t disappoint. This book has been perfectly carved, so that historical details to a brilliant storyline have all been thought out. It all pays off.
However, to add criticism, I think it’s worth arguing the point that the three characters offer a slight narrow viewpoint. It’s worth noting how this book is in favour of having an open mind, however we don’t hear of thoughts from characters who actually are in favour of segregation in the area. We hear of these characters, yet never get a clear picture of their view. This is just a minor point, and doesn’t really effect the read.
Overall, this is an outstanding book – well worth 4 stars – it’s been a pleasure to read and a brilliant way to delve into the depths of this controversial time. I would recommend it to anyone who’s interested in this type of history, or just somebody who enjoys reading about society and its ways.