Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The year is 1962. The place is Jackson, Mississippi. A place where black maids are good enough to raise white children but are considered the 'scum' of the earth.

Aibileen works for Miss Leefolt, raising Mae Mobley and keeping house. Mae Mobley's mother just doesn't have a clue with respect on how to deal with children and doesn't even like her own child.

Minny used to work for Miss Hilly's mother but Minnie's outspokenness and ways of getting even for the injustices have caused her to be fired. Now Miss Hilly, the ringleader of white society, has told everyone that Minnie stole some silver. It doesn't matter if it is true or not Minnie is now unemployable. Minnie finally finds a job on the outskirts of town for Miss Celia. Miss Celia comes from the wrong side of the tracks and is trying to 'get into' the bridge club and help with the volunteer work of the society ladies.

Miss Skeeter is home from college and already playing bridge and writing the newsletter for the League. She aims to become a journalist or writer. At first she gets the job of writing household tips for the local newspaper. But she decides to write about the maids and their employers. Will anyone have the courage to assist her and tell her their stories? Is it a story she is willing to hear?

The courage of these maids in this time period is profound. The racism and segregation is shown for what it was, just wrong. This book has the black women speaking in dialects but the white woman not. I am not from the South but wonder why Miss Skeeter has no dialect. This is a very compelling read; a book about love, hate, abuse, mistrust, attachment and three very strong females.

First Line: "Mae Mobley was born on a early Sunday morning in August, 1960"


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