Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review of Kathryn Stockett's "The Help"

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In her debut novel, Stockett paints the picture of a racially divided, not-so-equal Jackson, Mississippi. Every few chapters of the novel is told from a different perspective, alternating between maids Aibileen and Minny and the white daughter of a farm owner, Miss Skeeter. One of the best aspects of this novel is that it helps illustrate how historical events are connected and not merely isolated incidents. Beginning in 1962, the novel primarily follows the path of Miss Skeeter after she returns from college (husbandless) and finds that her maid Constantine has been fired by her mother. When Skeeter’s friend Holly begins to stir up racial tensions, Skeeter begins a dangerous mission to expose the truth of race relations in the South. Enlisting the help of neighborhood maids, Skeeter pens the maids’ stories as well as her own, showing how both kindness and hatred can simultaneously exist.

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