Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Help

I stopped by the library again last week and browsed the "rapid read" section and borrowed The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The setting is Mississippi in the early 1960's in a very racially separated town. The white people were in one area, and the black people in another. There was a whites only library, grocery store, etc. This was recently after Rosa Parks had taken her stand on the bus, and things were slowly moving towards equality. However, in this story, there was no equality in this town.

There were three narrators in this story - Miss Skeeter, a white woman in her early 20s who was in with all the uppity ladies of the town; Aibileen, a black maid in her 40s who worked for one of Skeeter's friends; and Minny, a maid in her 30's who was not afraid to speak her mind, no matter who she was talking to, which also got her fired often.

Skeeter, an aspiring author, had come home from university and expected her childhood maid to be there and found out she was no longer employed and left town. This was crushing to her. She was trying to find out what happened to her, and started talking to Aibileen. Through her conversations with Aibileen, she discovered that something wasn't right, and she wanted to write about it.

The book goes through a lot incidents in all three ladies' lives that the reader really gets involved in. I, particularly, was really interested in the stories of Aibileen. I'm not sure if the author intended this, or if it was just the character with whom I identified.

I really enjoyed the book and was sad to get to the last page last night. I would like just another chapter to go into what happened to these three in the next five or so years. I think that speaks for itself.


  1. The Help was one of my most favourite books read in the last year!

  2. I loved it as well. A couple of RM ladies recommended it to me and one even went so far as to send it to me! It was a compelling read.


  3. I really liked it too. It's so interesting how we Canadians don't think about racism as being so intensely real... but that book was set in the 60's, which isn't so long ago, and I've heard that the same kinds of communities and attitudes still exist to this day; that is so foreign to me.

  4. I was shocked when I realized it was in the '60s. It did make me think of when my parents were growing up, and how things would have been here at the time. Not as bad as Mississippi, but still a world of difference from today.