This book is really difficult for me to describe, so I will just give a short overview and then give my opinion.
“The Help” takes place in Mississippi in the 1960’s and revolves around three main characters: Abilene, an African-American maid who has raised 17 white children; Minny, Abilene’s friend and fellow maid who routinely gets fired for mouthing off to her white employers; and Skeeter, a young white lady fresh out of college who is wondering what to do with her life. The story is told from all three points of view, and deals with the turbulent times of the Civil Rights movement. Skeeter becomes interested in the lives of the maids and wants to write their stories.
I really liked this book. It was entertaining, insightful, daring, and just all-around interesting. The dialect used for the African-American women was difficult to read at first, but it got much easier as you got used to it. The perspective of the maids was shocking to me. I can’t believe that people were/are treated that way in America.
(One thing I thought was odd was that the white people at that time actually thought that black people were dirty and had different ‘diseases’ than white people. Therefore, they would not let them use the same bathroom as white people. But…they would let them take care of their children and cook their meals…That doesn’t make sense to me. I guess that is the point. Racism doesn’t make sense.)
I think everyone in my book club was in agreement that this was a really good book. We liked the characters, we liked the ‘story-within-a-story,’ and we liked the dialogue. We also found out that there is a movie being made of this book! It is supposed to be out sometime this summer. Ladies from Book Club…let’s go see it together!!!
Overall, I would recommend this book, and I will give it… 4 ½ Book Worms!
For more information about this book, please click here.