It is the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. And the civil rights movement is slowly gaining traction for change. This is the background to the events that happen in The Help, written by Kathryn Stockett.
I just fully adore this book, even though it is only the second time I have read it. I find it an amazing read, even with the change in the language of each of the characters as they tell their daily happenings to get their book published.
Aibileen, Minny and Miss Skeeter just feel so relatable, in their own ways.
Both Aibileen and Minny are coloured maids and have been working for ‘white ladies’ for a good seventy years combined. Aibileen works with families with young children, while Minny is known as the best cook in Jackson. They are best friends and have their own little quirks about the ladies they work for.
Miss Skeeter, as everyone calls her (apart from her mother, who calls her Eugenia) is a young white woman, recently graduated from Ol’ Miss and is set on being a writer. But first, she needs to get her name out there, gain some writing experience, and such.
I love the interactions these characters have, not only with each other but to the rest of the townspeople around them. Especially the ones with (Miss) Hilly Holbrook, who is the antagonist to all three women. My favourite is between Hilly and Skeeter, they are best friends at the start of the book, but by the end, they have severed ties with each other due to some difference of opinion on things.
Another interaction that I find just adorable is the one Aibileen has with Mae Mobley, a two-year-old little girl at the start of the book that Aibileen is caring for. It got me to tear up a few times as I read the book, especially when Mae Mobley did something that was wrong in her mother’s eyes, but not in her own.
I have seen the film adaptation so many times, I noticed a few things that were different in the book to the film. A few things are different in the storyline, but nothing to really deter from the plot of the story. I won’t go into too many details, but they both work in their own ways to tell the story.
I think this will be one of my all-time favourite books I will ever read, as no matter when it is read, it is still very relatable in times of world crisis, as well as local and global distress. It shows the strength of the female character and how it can either rise up with everything that happens, as well as the more meeker approach as well.
My rating for this book is a solid 4.5 stars. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you should, or even see the film, or both.
See you, readers, next time.