by Kathryn Stockett
Adult Historical Contemporary
Published: February 10th 2009
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.
An emotional, yet sometimes hilarious, journey into the past. The Help chronicles the lives of two black maids in the 1960's and one white plantation owner's daughter. I don't normally read contemporary books, but I did enjoy this one. I liked seeing a different aspect of life than what I am used to. It really made me sympathetic to those who are treated differently. I would actually hope that this book became one read in high-schools. I feel that teenagers would get more out of this book than some of the "boring classics" they are forced to read now.
I wonder how a book, like the one Skeeter and Aibileen wrote, would have actually done back during the Civil Rights Movement. I wonder how many white people would have taken it seriously and actually thought about what they were doing and how they were treating blacks. I also wonder how many blacks would have suffered because of the book. If anyone would have mistreated their maids simply because "maybe" one of these stories is theirs.
It is a very interesting and emotional story. One that I would recommend to all audiences. I do plan on watching the movie as well. I have heard that it is very similar to the book.