The Help has been THE book of the year, and I didn’t want to let 2009 pass by without reading it.
If you’re one of the few who hasn’t heard of it, it’s set in the civil rights era in Jackson, Mississippi and tells the stories of three women: one white, young and privileged, and two older black housemaids. Capturing some of the major perspectives of the time while weaving in the personal journeys of the three narrators, it is with good reason that Stockett’s first novel has been a smashing success. Once I got into the rhythm of the voices, I literally couldn’t put it down.
In the tradition of all good writers, but particularly Southern writers, Stockett is a very capable and engrossing storyteller, and readers are easily attached to the characters. Though some of the story feels like it feeds on stereotypes, I appreciated the depth of such touches as the most vitriolic segregationist being a sweet and tender mother, more attached to her children than many of the other Junior League types. The women of this time were anything but simple, and Stockett is sure to help readers to understand that.
I borrowed this copy but I will be acquiring my own as it well deserves a place in our family library. (9.5/10, interact on goodreads)