Monday, February 22, 2010

The Help

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, has been on the Best seller list for weeks and months on end. I don't think it's still #1 but this book was published last year and I think it's been on ever since. It was one of those books that I waited forever for on the hold list and, along with all the other ones, came in for me a couple weeks ago. I did a bad thing with this book. Because I didn't want to wait for it again and I couldn't renew it, I kept it over its due date by 5 days. (hangs head in shame) Anyway, onto The Help.

The Help follows three women, two African-American maids and a society gal, in 1950's Jackson, Missisippi. Tensions are thick in the south regarding civil rights and this story plays right along with it. Aibileen has been a maid her whole life, waiting on the white folk, raising their babies. She works for Elizabeth Leefolt, a twenty-something mother who knows nothing about caring for her daughter and everything about planning luncheons. Minny, Aibileen's best friend and also a maid, is outspoken and often gets canned for her sass-mouth. And then there's Skeeter Phelan, a white society gal, who is friends with all of the maids' bosses. Skeeter (real name Eugenia) has just graduated from college and gets a job writing a housekeeping column for the newspaper with Aibileen's guidance. The story moves between the points of view of these strong women and works hard to show what they all have in common.

I really enjoyed all of the characters, even the villianous ones, in The Help. Stockett weaves the lives of these women together seamlessly. She gives the story twists and an unpredictable (to a certain extent) path. It reads relatively quickly for being a larger book but that can mostly be attributed to my insatiable curiosity of the outcome.

Thumbs up for The Help!

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