Kathryn Stockett's The Help was my book club's selection in October, but since my sister was here that night I didn't go and ended up reading it last week.
For some reason I thought the Help was set in India...it was not! It was set in the Mississippi in the 1960s during the height of racial tensions. I usually find books set in this time and place quite intriguing-and The Help was no different. The chapters in this story are told from various perspectives of three characters-two black maids Aibilene and Minny, and Miss Skeeter, a white woman anonymously writing the stories of black maids in her community. I couldn't help but feel that it was a bit unrealistic that Miss Skeeter wanted to write this book considering (at the beginning at least) she doesn't really seem to care about the plight of the black people in her community and that she is interviewing the maids of her best friends! Maybe unrealistic isn't the right word, but it did feel a bit artificial to me. Although I have to say Stockett's portrayal of Aibileen and Minny was phenomenal. Such strong women yet so different. I enjoyed the help and will definitely be searching the web to see if there were any books published at that time describing the day-to-day lives of black maids and the families they worked for!