I had this book from the library about a month ago, but I was reading so many other things, I couldn’t get to it before it was due, so I reluctantly had to return it. I quickly got my self back on the hold list and it was slowly getting back to my turn. Until last week. I was getting my Summer Reading reward from the library, and there it was, sitting there on the shelf behind the librarian. I couldn’t believe my luck, so I grabbed it.
Let me just start with this… this book was amazing. There were many times when I cried. I was so touched and humbled by this story. I knew from history class that this was a difficult time in our country, but I really had no idea.
“The Help” is told from the perspective of three woman. Skeeter is a 23 year old white woman who has just returned from college and is wondering where Constantine is. Her black maid and best friend. But, no one will tell her the truth. Many know the truth, but won’t reveal it. Skeeter is friends with Hilly Holbrook and Elizabeth Leefolt. Miss Hilly is the queen bee of Jackson, and everyone looks to her as an example. But, it is not a good one. When she says jump, all the ladies in the community ask how high, and can I get you anything before I jump. Aibileen is Miss Leefolt’s maid and is raising her daughter Mae Mobley. Miss Leefolt is a bad mother, but really has no role model of her own. Aibileen is working one day while Miss Hilly and Skeeter are over at Elizabeth’s playing bridge. Hilly has the “brilliant” idea that Nigra’s need their own toilet in the house they are working in for sanitation purposes. Skeeter doesn’t agree with Hilly, and asks Aibileen when they are alone if she wishes she could change things. This gets Aibileen thinking.
Minny is Aibileen’s best friend. She is sassy and talks back to her employers, and gets fired a lot. Minny goes to work for Miss Celia Foote who also has a connection to Hilly, but has secrets of her own. Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny are all amazing women and each has a beautiful story to tell.
What is really enjoyed was the friendships that exist between the woman, and the one that develops. I loved how the author brought real life events into the story as well, and how those events affect the ladies. Medgar Evers, the six black girls who were bombed in the church, JFK, and many more. Each individual character was so well written and unique. All were so real to me, even the ones I didn’t like, it was like I was watching a play. I laughed and cried, and was sad when I was done, I didn’t want it to end.
Make sure you read the author’s personal story about Demetrie.
I would recommend it to anyone, and would read it again. There was some language, but it didn’t change how I felt about the story. This is the author’s first novel.
Amy Einhorn Books-G.P. Putnam’s Sons / 2009
Hardcover – 451 pages
FTC-FYI: Borrowed from the library