have you ever had a book come across your radar and feel it will remain with you for life? i have a few times. The Help, definitely will be with me. Kathryn Stockett brought me to a familiar place. a childhood place for me...my Mississippi. she weaves a story of 3 women who found each other working together to make this world a better place, at tremendous risk. set in the 1960's, we look at the world through the eyes of black maids working in Jackson. how they felt. how they were treated....good & bad. we look through the eyes of white employers. their behavior, their tradition, their feelings....good & bad. the most touching for me is to think of the maids and the pure love for the children they raise for white families. care for them from birth, to walking & talking, to school. nurse them through heart breaks, illness. join in their happiness and triumphs. all to be forced to move on to the next family. to lose those children who had become like their very own.
the main 3 characters of this story ring true for me. i know these ladies. i have met and/or been related to many of the characters. Skeeter is a 22 year old recent graduate of Ole Miss who yearns for more than is in Jackson. through a series of events she chooses, at the greatest possible risk, to tell the story of the black maid of Mississippi by authoring a book. Aibileen, her best friend's maid, becomes her co author. as does Minny, a most outspoken woman...especially in a time of violence towards her race. three different women having a common thread...courage.
this story, these women will forever be weaved into my soul. they were real to me....written perfectly. my own grandmother's maid was named Minny. they lived minutes from where this story takes place. i could see it, hear it, taste it, feel it. i took a deep look in myself. asked questions i had not thought to ask before. being thankful all the while for the kind of employer my grandparents were and the respect we were taught to have.
this is a must read. high schools should include this on required reading lists. book clubs should discuss it. families should include this conversation around the dinner table. pick it up and enjoy. i would love to hear what you think.