The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this in anticipation of the movie coming out this summer. I really enjoyed the story and found it to be a true page-turner, especially the last third of the book, which kept me up until 1:30am to finish it. The story takes place in 1962 and is told from three points of view: 1) Miss Skeeter, a young, affluent white woman; 2) Aibileen, an older black maid, who works for one of Skeeter's best friends and is devoted to the white children she's raised over the years; and 3) Minny, another black maid, who speaks her mind, and often finds herself in trouble for doing so. Skeeter wants to be a writer and convinces Aibileen, Minny and several other black maids to discuss their experiences (good and bad) working for white families for a book, to be published anonymously. The maids do this despite the risks of unemployment or even violence because they recognize their chance to have a voice in midst of the racial injustices of Jim Crow Mississippi.

Each character was strongly developed and each had such a distinct voice. I was a bit uncomfortable at first reading the so-call "black vernacular" as written by a white woman, but I ultimately thought she did it well. I was impressed that I could read each chapter and know who's telling the story, just because of how it was written.

Definitely recommend this one.

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