Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Plot: This tells the stories of several black maids working in white households amidst the racism of 1960's Mississippi and one young white woman who wants to learn their perspectives. Together they gain courage and support while working to change their community for the better.

First Line: "Mae Mobley was born on an early Sunday morning in August, 1960."

Comments: The Help is an amazing novel. The individual stories and the differing viewpoints and voices of each character weave together to create a powerful, thought-provoking book. Every person has something different to say and a different perspective of life, but they are all drawn together for more or less the same reason.

I love the characters. Aibileen, a maid raising her employer's daughter, is my favorite. She is patient and loving but strong and sturdy, and she helps create the movement towards equality. Minny is a spit-fire maid who has trouble finding work because of her tendency to speak her mind. Skeeter is a young, white college graduate who returns home to find that the black maid who raised her is gone, and no one will tell her where she went. These people all have such different personalities that it's a pleasure to watch them interact and to hear the thoughts in their heads.

Not only does this book share stories of what it was like being a black maid in the South during the 1960's, but it encourages more than just racial equality. It inspires readers to stand up for their beliefs and stick together, even when it seems like the whole world is against you. This story mixes wit, history, perseverance, and harsh reality into a fantastic blend of page-turning goodness.

Rating: I rate The Help a 10 out of 10. I definitely recommend this book.

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