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I recently finished reading The Help, a novel by Kathryn Stockett. I wanted to take the time to write a review on it, since I, your stand in librarian, would highly recommend it. It is currently #2 on the New York Times Best Seller list, and has been on the list for the past 53 weeks.
The Help is a story of 1960's Mississippi and the thick racial tensions that filled the era. It is told by the main character, Skeeter Phelan, a white woman who has just finished up her last year at Ole Miss and returned home to Jackson to live with her parents. All of her friends had dropped out of Ole Miss to get married, so she returns to a world of couples, babies, and "country club" life. Skeeter decides along the way that she wants to make her big break by writing a book detailing what it is like to be a black woman working as the domestic help in white peoples' houses, and she wants to do it from the help's perspectives. She recruits her friends' help to tell her the stories of the families they have worked for, and the rest unfolds from there.
As a child of the South, I think it is always important to learn about the history that surrounds you, good, bad, or ugly. The Help does a fine job of doing just that - telling a well rounded story that is poignant, thought provoking, and important.
Click on the book to be directed to it's page on Amazon