I finally finished another book that was on my summer reading list. The Help by Kathryn Stockett is an excellent book. The story is told through three main characters: Skeeter Phelan, a young white college graduate who still lives with her parents on their cotton farm; Aibeleen, a black maid who works for Skeeter’s friend Elizabeth Leefolt; and Minny, a black maid who has a reputation for being “sassy” which has gotten her fired 19 times in the same town. The book is set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s during the height of the civil rights tensions. The murder of Medger Evers and other historical events are included in the book. Skeeter wants to be taken seriously as a writer, and she begins to notice things about how domestic help is treated in her own home and that of her friends. Skeeter, through a series of events, sets out to write a book in which black maids tell the stories of working for white families. The project must be kept very secret and with the reluctant help of Aibeleen and Minny, the book gets started.
This book held my attention and it was hard to put it down when I had to do other things. I found my heart skipping a beat when Skeeter is stopped while driving to the “colored” side of town to meet with Aibeleen; when she leaves the satchel containing the pages of the book and her friend Hilly picks it up and looks through part of it; when Aibeleen goes out on a limb to help Minny get another job — there are many instances when I found myself holding my breath as I read on to find out what happens next.
I encourage you to read it if you have the opportunity to do so.