Set in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi, ‘The Help‘ by Kathryn Stockett follows the lives of very different women in the quest to bridge the differences.
It is a time when racial integration exists and the black women work as domestic help for the white families. Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan returns home from the University of Mississippi to find her childhood maid Constantine gone. Not satisfied by the reason her mother is giving her, Skeeter wants to find out what really happened. It is then that she then starts noticing how badly her best friends Hilly Holbrook and Elizabeth Leefold are treating their help.
The story is told in the voices of Aibileen Clark, who is the Leefold’s maid, Minny Jackson, an outspoken maid who had been fired from 19 jobs in her entire life, and Skeeter. It is very heartwarming how the lives of the three women entangle as they help each other out. Hilly is there every step of the way to make it worse for them but they overcome the racism, schemes and finally the fear she puts in everyone’s life.
This book is rightfully called the other side of ‘Gone with the Wind‘ as it does justice to giving a voice to thousands of women who sacrificed their families, lives and also their dignity because of the colour of their skin in a society that would shun anyone for being ‘different’.
One would probably not pick up the book thinking that it is a historical account of the civil rights movement, but even though the story encapsulates real events that were taking place at that time, it is a wonderful piece of fiction that is told in a very engaging and humorous way therefore it’s definitely readable, be it on the train or on your sofa on a lazy weekend.
Overall Rating: 9/10
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Ridhu is a writer, karaoke singer and a Potterhead. She believes in magic and miracles. A traveller and a student, she is always trying out new things to learn and is currently learning tarot card reading. As a television junkie, she doesn’t leave any episode of any american drama or comedy that you could think of. A punk in the garb of a nerd, Ridhu loves tattoos and technology alike and definitely looks at the world through pink tinted glasses.