Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Help

I just read this book and it was nothing short of amazing!  The Help is Kathryn Stockett's first novel, which in itself is a great achievement!    It is set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960's during the heart of the civil rights movement.  Things were changing in the south and people were choosing sides.  The chapters alternate perspectives from Skeeter (a southern white woman in her early 20's, fresh out of college with hopes and dreams of being a writer and changing the world) and two black maids, Aibileen (a sweet and gentle woman who has raised 17 white children, but lost her own) and Minny (an outspoken woman who has worked for so many families in the Jackson area that she can't get a job with anyone but a white trash woman married into a wealthy southern family).  Skeeter gets the opportunity to write a novel and is encouraged to write about something that really disturbs her.  With thoughts of her former maid, Constentine, whom she adored, Skeeter  sets out to recruit the maids of white families to tell their stories of what it's like being "the help".  As this novel progresses, more people realize just how much change needs to happen and Skeeter comes to understand that this novel is more than a book, it's her part in changing the world!  

I found this novel warm, controversial, enlightening, beautiful and raw.  I can not describe all of the emotions that I went through reading this book.  I laughed and cried.  I felt angry with all of the brainwashed men and women who saw nothing wrong with their actions but rejoiced with these strong women determined to see change!

Seriously incredible and a MUST read!  I rarely give a book five stars, but this one deserves ten! 

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