Thursday, April 8, 2010

Book Review: The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion to do this review.

Set in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, The Help is a story of the civil rights movement told from the perspectives of two black maids and a young white woman who recently returned home after college graduation. Only it's not the civil rights movement on a broad scale. But their own part of it, their own story. They come together to work on a project that puts them all in danger but must be done as they are determined to do what they can to bring about change that both terrifies them and gives them hope.

This first novel is so well-written I had no trouble following the changes in narrator as the author flipped from one voice to the other. She also did a great job of keeping the flow of the story progressing nicely with the narrator changes.

She does a great job of getting you to take a look at not just how people treated their help in the 60s but now. She leaves you asking hard questions about how much has really changed. Is there really a difference? Or are we just fooling ourselves?

This book is enlightening, heart-breaking and heart-warming. For as terrible as some of the maids' stories are that will leave you with a bad taste for humanity, there are also ones that will make you believe in the goodness of human beings.

I cannot recommend this book enough. Add it to your to-read list. You don't want to miss this one.

Next month - The White Queen by Philippa Gregory