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The Help - Book Review

Home > Sydney > Books and Writing
by Alana Foster (subscribe)
An aspiring journalist and freelance writer living in the heart of Adelaide.
Published October 19th 2011
Copyright Penguin Group (Wikipedia)
Welcome to Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Meet Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan a recent journalism graduate returned home to a life that slowly turns into an abyss. She has a degree and is ready to change the world, but her mother won't be happy until she has a ring on her finger. Skeeter won't rest until she finds out the truth behind the disappearance of her beloved maid Constantine, yet everyone's lips seemed to be sealed. Then there is Aibileen, a kind hearted black maid who has raised seventeen white children but the loss of her only son is a wound not yet healed. Her best friend Minny is renowned for the finest cooking in town and the foulest mouth, loosing another job, Minny gets revenge on the town gossip, repulsively funny it turns out to be a gift that just keeps on giving.

First time author Kathryn Stockett brings the reader to a world in which she grew up in, a town where black people were separated from white people, not only by the colour of their skin but also by the public transport they could use, the grocery shops they could enter, the clothes they could wear, the toilets they were permitted to use and the books they could read. Enter into a world "where black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted not to steal the silver".

The Help, is a brilliant novel, additively mesmerising and utterly bewildering to comprehend in our day and age. It's a fabulous insight into the hypocrisy and open racism deep within the South of American history. With twists and turns that will keep you flipping every page faster than the last. An unconventional friendship is formed between Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny, one that is courageous and touching. In a world where it was fatal to cross the social boundaries between black and white the women form a bond where story telling and equality is the key to freedom.
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Why? Brilliant, enthralling and astonishing.
Your Comment
I enjoyed this book, and much of the segregation - toilets, transport - also happened in apartheid South Africa, so I drew some parallels with that. It is a real eye-opening book, in my opinion.
by Ashleigh Meikle (score: 2|262) 3376 days ago
I think I'll have to add this one to my TBR pile.
by Jennifer Muirhead (score: 3|1241) 3279 days ago
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