Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Books: The Help

The Help
By Kathryn Stockett
444 pages
Copyright 2009

The Help will likely be one of the best, if not the best, book I read this year.

Skeeter is just out of college and in need of something to do. She wants to be a writer, but how does one go about that when she lives in Mississippi in 1962?

She takes on a job writing a column for the local paper. She must frequently ask the advice of Aibileen, a black maid who works for one of her friends, because the column is about household tips, like how to starch a collar. Skeeter, being a child of privilege, has little knowledge about such common things.

As the Civil Rights movement unfolds, Skeeter realizes the discrepancies and biases of herself and her social circle. She decides to write the story of the maids who serve her friends. Aibileen agrees to help her, at great risk to her work position as well as her life in these terrible times of discrimination and strife.

They are joined in their work by Minnie, who has made herself an enemy of one of the town's main socialites. As the work progresses, other maids join in and soon Skeeter has a book that is accepted and published by a New York publisher.

This is a book that every southern woman, particularly those in the upper classes, should read. Maybe every woman should read it in order to better understand class relations, the inner turmoil of their neighbors, and the tragedies that come from closing the eyes to the inequities that are right in front of them.

I will be passing this book on to friends.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent book that I've recommended to everyone! I passed it on to one of my daughters who passed it on to my mother-in-law, etc. etc.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been hearing a lot about this book. Might have to pick it up some time...

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