The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Berkley Trade; $15.00; 544 pages)
Wasn’t that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.
Kathryn Stockett’s novel, The Help, is a wonderful story truly worthy of its attention and praise. Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s at the crux of integration, Stockett portrays the help’s perspective of life and hardships in the South prior to the Civil Rights Movement.
Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan is a young, educated woman whose only dream is to become a writer. Encouraged to write about something that “disturbs her” Skeeter risks everything she has to listen to the stories of the black women who care for the homes and children of her wealthy friends and family. She elicits Abilleen and her best friend Minny, both of whom have dedicated their lives to caring for the white families in their town, to put their lives in jeopardy in order to share their stories.
They say it’s like true love, good help. You only get one in a lifetime.
Skeeter, a budding activist fighting for equity in a town vehemently supporting segregation while Martin Luther King, Jr. leads the nation in the Civil Rights Movement, finds grace and purpose in her own life as she shares the stories of the help in her small town.
All my life I’d been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine’s thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.
The Help invites you to listen to their stories and determine how far you would be willing to go in order to gain the truth and to ultimately do the right thing.
This book was purchased by the reviewer. The Help will be released in trade paperback form on April 5, 2011.