Set in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi, “The Help” chronicles the lives of white Junior Leaguers and their black help. The stories make you ashamed, proud, sad, and joyful – all rolled into one book. The characters are well written, as well as, their stories.
The main storyline is of a white female college graduate and a couple of black housekeepers who secretly conspire to write the stories of their relationships with their white families and have them published in a book. Doesn’t seem so brave, but considering they lived in Jackson Mississippi in the 1960s, with plenty of civil unrest going around, it was a very brave and dangerous thing to do.
The book is written from several characters point of view – Miss Skeeter, the white college graduate, soon to become outcast; Aibileen, housekeeper whose specialty is being a nanny; and Minny, mouthy housekeeper and the best cook around. Some stories will make you laugh out loud while others make you cry. The mindsets of white and black people and the way they relate is the cornerstone of this story. There were many wrong assumptions on both parts but the realization that we are all just people, no matter our skin color, is the desired outcome.
It is a well-written book that I highly recommend. I am looking forward to the next book Kathryn Stockett writes.