The Help (Movie Tie-In)

The Help - Kathryn Stockett After reading "The Help," I completely understand why the book has received so many accolades.The book tells the story of well-to-do white families' African-American servants in the still-segregated south of the late 1950s and early 1960s. The main voices are those of Aibileen and Minny, two of the maids, and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, the daughter of one of the families. Skeeter is the only young woman in her circle with a college degree and, to her mother's constant disappointment, without a husband. Skeeter initially begins writing her book about the life of the maids in her circle because she is trying to find out what happened to her beloved Constantine, the African-American maid who was her primary caretaker and more of a mother to her than her biological parent. This was the case with many of the characters in the book, although not all of them were so kind to their maids as they might have been.Stockett grew up in the segregated South, and in her endnote essay she expresses that she was concerned about taking on a black woman's voice. However, in the end she concluded that it was a story that must be told.There are so many life lessons enclosed in this book, about love and connection, about how prejudice is taught and so on. Well worth reading, particularly in today's environment where prejudice against those who look and/or worship differently is on the rise again in certain circles.