Today we’re talking Books. First, I’d like to say that I hope no one takes anything that I say here personally or is offended. I voiced some of these feelings when Facebook friends started to comment about the book I was reading. I do not in any way mean this as a criticism of any one person or group of people. I’m talking about Books.
I am often late to the party when it comes to books. Over the last month I read The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Yes, all three books. I was swept away by the story and the characters. I enjoyed them very much. If you didn’t…that’s ok. They’ve been out for a few years but I just never got around to them.
The same thing happened a few years ago with The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. From what I had heard of the story, it didn’t sound like my kind of book. Then I found it at a thrift store, bought it, and loved it. I know there were some who didn’t like it and that’s ok. I enjoyed The Lovely Bones so much, I paid real money to buy another book of Sebold’s The Almost Moon. It was dreadful. If you liked it, I’m glad.
That brings me to The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
Everybody read The Help. Everybody loved The Help. A movie was made of the book. Everybody loved the movie. It was the darling of the Oscars, winning several awards. I’m sure the awards are well deserved and I still hope to see the movie.
No one ever mentioned that The Help was written in dialect. There’s nothing wrong with writing a book in dialect. I can’t explain why, but I have a terrible time with books written in dialect. Years ago, I tried to read Trinity by Leon Uris. Got about 30 pages into it and had to give it up. I couldn’t do it. I got about 10 pages into The Help. I thought long and hard…well, I thought a few hours about it before I said to myself, I can’t do it. I don’t know why but I can’t do it.
This is in no way a slur or slap in the face to anyone who speaks with an accent whether it is an American regional accent or an accent from another country. I have a lot of friends around the country who have accents different from mine. I find it charming. Those people I have met from other countries, I enjoy listening to their accents. But please don’t make me read a book written in dialect.
This brings me to the book I am currently reading.
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevaliar. I have read two other books by Chevaliar, The Girl with the Pearl Earring and Remarkable Creatures. I enjoyed both of these books very much. I am enjoying The Virgin Blue very much. Starting this book so soon after my frustrating experience with The Help has punctuated an issue that I have with many authors.
Why do so many authors Assume that you and me, the English reading public can read and understand foreign languages, most frequently, French. Now please understand that I have nothing against the French. When my sister and I were growing up one of the closest friends of our family was a wonderful Frenchwoman named Peggy. She was flamboyant and had two beautiful standard poodles. Up until that time, I only thought that poodles came in the small yappy variety.(Oh, lord, now I’ll get complaints from poodle people!) She was French, I loved her. She however Did Not expect me to understand French. She spoke to me in her lovely accented English.
Why do authors who do not know me Assume I can understand the French terms they toss about? I can’t. How hard would it be to find a creative way to translate for those of us unfortunates who do not speak another language, French or otherwise? This is a plea from me to all of the authors out there, please translate. I’d enjoy your books much more and might actually understand what’s going on!
Of course then there is the issue of Pulitzer Prize winning books. Please don’t get me started on that topic!
All that being said, I am enjoying The Virgin Blue and I’m sure I will continue to enjoy it.
I will also continue to read and buy books. In fact, in the two trips I made to my library to pick up and then return The Help, I bought 5 books from their ongoing sale.
Is there any dialect hiding in any of these books? Possibly. I’ll just bet there’s some French hiding in there, no offence, and it will frustrate me, but I will go on.
There’s not much that could stop me from reading. I just needed to get this off of my chest. No Offence Meant.
Happy Thursday! Keep Reading!!