If you are interested in why I say it was written by a white lady, please read the synopsis.
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women–mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends–view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.
I'm about halfway through the book and it's gotten really good. It takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962. The author is from Jackson. She does a pretty good job of creating and writing with the black characters in the book.
I normally do not read fiction much but am happy to be reading this book. There are a lot of things I did not know about that era. For example, black maids usually had their own bathrooms in white houses, they couldn't go to white grocery stores, couldn't marry a white person, and of course the one we know all too well - they couldn't use the same public bathrooms or drinking fountains. In any case, this is a good book that details the struggles of blacks during the era right before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
I'm still shocked to this day that blacks were treated so cruelly.
I do remember my grandmother having a black maid who wore a white uniform and white shoes. And sometimes I'd hear my grandmother say, "Nigra." I knew back in those times that's what people would call black ladies.