Sunday, June 5, 2011
A great read
Everyone couple of years, I remember how much I love listening to unabridged audio books while I do my hand work. This week it was "The Help"...a best seller by Kathryn Stockett (Penguin Audio). It's been out at least a couple of years, so perhaps you've already read it.
One of the last of the Oprah shows was one celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders and their efforts to break the back of segregation. Her studio was filled with as many of those brave people as she could locate. There were many first hand accounts of their actions, along with old videos and a discussion of how those protestors were well schooled in non-violence before embarking on this journey. One young black man, who had escaped a burning bus, had been severely beaten by a white man. Oprah's show actually reunited these men, and gave the attacker a chance to apologize. It was a powerful hour. While I lived through this time period, I admit to being a very self-absorbed teenager, and because matters of world news were never discussed in our household (not much of anything was), my knowledge of these events comes from things I've seen or read. Once again, I was blown away by the ugliness of prejudice.
Fast forward to this week...if you haven't read it, "The Help" is a fictional slice of life as a black domestic in Jackson, Mississippi during the sixties. I didn't grow up in the south, nor were we a family of the means to even consider hired "help"...so this book was not only an eye opener for me about life with household help, it was yet another indictment of how people could treat each other, in the worst sorts of ways, through the veil of prejudice and ignorance. It was also uplifting, and I found myself laughing out loud more than once. The movie is going to be released on August 12, and after seeing the trailers on line, it looks like they've done a good job with it (although I almost always prefer a book to the movie). If you haven't read the book...I highly recommend it. In fact, the readers on this audio (which is 15 CDs) were so perfect, it's even hard for me to imagine having read it in print, something I would rarely say.
What do 15 CDs equal in terms of handwork? Lots of hand quilting on my blue and white quilt, and a decent start on this Karen Kahle pattern called "Sentimental". It was a great break from the reality of everyday life; and now, to find my next "read".