Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Author: Stockett, Kathryn

Review Date: JANUARY 26, 2010
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books
Pages: 451
Price (paperback): $14.99
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-3991-5534-5
Category: FICTION

Kathryn Stockett’s The Help can be summed up in three words: faith, hope and trust. The book reveals the inner thoughts and family secrets in the lives of wealthy, Caucasian housewives during the Civil Right era in Jackson, Mississippi. It also highlights the life and treatment of the African-American maids, ultimately exposing the ways in which they were devalued and abused.

The book’s three main characters are Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. Skeeter is a young Caucasian lady who has just graduated from college and has dreams of becoming a writer. Aibileen and Minny are two African-American maids that Skeeter works hard to befriend in the hope that they will help her gather short stories from other African-American maids. She believes that getting these two ladies to talk will in turn get the other maids to talk, thus revealing their employers’ racism, prejudices and unfair treatment in a book she is writing called The Help.

This book is an enjoyable read, evoking both sadness and anger. Readers will find The Help hard to put down because each character is fully developed and the plot constantly keeps them guessing, while simultaneously causing them to evaluate their own prejudices.

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