Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an incredible book. It came highly recommended from many, but mainly my best friend Wendy suggested and told me that I HAD to read it. She was right. She read it for the Holly Springs Book Club for Women and I only wish that I had read it sooner and could have been at the meeting where they discussed it.

The book is told from three people. One is Miss Skeeter, a white woman in her early twenties. The other two are black maids, one is Aibeleen and Minny. The story takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s.

I guess being from the north, I've always had a different view of blacks and whites together. I never saw much of a difference between us, and I was raised with two parents that had very open minds and were loving, tolerant, and accepting of all people. I was very lucky to have such a solid foundation of looking for someone's character and basing my like/dislike of them from that, and not the color of their skin.

What struck me the most while reading this book, was that this, while fiction, took place in the last 50 years. The book is fiction, but there are many accounts that are nonfiction, that are similar, if not worse than what happens in the book.

The overall plot is that the three women come together (secretly) to write a book from the perspective of black maids in the deep south. They tell about things that their white "bosses" do to them and they share good and bad things that have happened to them. It all starts when Miss Skeeter is visiting her friend Elizabeth (Aibeleen is her maid) and the white friends discuss how dirty blacks are and discuss having separate bathrooms for the help.

I HIGHLY recommend this book. I didn't think I'd like it, but after a few chapters I was hooked. I found myself tearing up throughout the book. Especially when the black maids talk about taking care of the white people's children. They raise them and then eventually turn around and work for them and the cycle repeats.

Go get this book and I promise you'll love it as much as I did!!


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