The Help, Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel, is one of those books where the characters stay with you long after you put the book down. The story of three ordinary, yet amazing women, in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s, The Help bring to light the life of two black women working as maids at the dawn of the civil rights movement.
Aibileen and Minny have stories to tell of what life is like for them, and Skeeter, one of the privileged young white women of the time who is trying to listen to those stories and write them down into a book all the while having her eyes opened to the cost of the life she has known. Taking on this project, this book that describes what life is like for a black maid in the Deep South, the chances they take and the consequences of it, you see how much was sacrificed to move us forward.
As these three women come together an incredible story comes out; a timeless story that transcends race, age and time…that we are all the same. We are all women with a heart, a mind, dreams, fears and joys.
Their stories are scattered among the chapters, each written in their own voice. Stockett’s ability to do that is so good, you feel as if the book truly were written by three different women.
While the book is sad at times, there is a triumphant feel to it. These women show a courage and a tenacity that is inspiring. In some ways it was reminiscent of A Thousand Splendid Suns by revealing how little really is different between us as women.
A favorite line from the book sums it up best: 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.
When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? To surrender dreams--this may be madness; to seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness! But maddest of all--to see life as it is and not as it should be.
I have been married for over 27 years to my husband Stan. We have two sons, AJ (26) and Kevin (24). We have two crazy dogs named Jasper and Riley. I love my life, my family and have a strong faith that directs me.
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