The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Four black maids in a southern town talk about their lives as maids for white ladies. One day, a white lady named Skeeter tries to get them to contribute their stories to a book about their working conditions. This is fraught with danger as they live in an era (1960's) where racism was much more overt and accepted.
There is a feeling of desperation at the beginning when you first meet the maids Minny, Miss Cecelia, Aibileen, and Yule May. The world is not fair and not likely to get better any time soon for them. As the story progresses, the despair deepens as events take lives and the prejudices unfold.
Skeeter is a non-conformist who loved her maid nanny. She starts out somewhat naive, but her progression to knowledge helps the reader to better understand the situation. At times though, her persistence makes the reader angry at her and frustrated by the maids' lack of risk however understandable. Stockett has created a very human character with Skeeter that we can cheer on and be frustrated with.
Some people complain about the language of the maids since Stockett writes the thoughts of the maids in their slang. I felt it gave a more believable and likable air to the story. This is for fans of slice-of-life books, action lovers beware.
Star Rating: 4.0/5.0
For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.