The Help is the story of three extra ordinary brave women who lived in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s who rose above their own expectations and boundaries for a common goal. Ailbeen and Minny – the two African American maids and Skeeter the white woman.
The book starts with narrating the hard life of Ailbeen who lost her son recently and her simple faith in her prayers. Ailbeen has spent her entire life looking after white children and she is currently looking after Mea Mobley a two year old girl in an English family. Minny Jackson, known for her cooking skills has the habit of losing her job due to her uncontrollable temper. Minny has recently taken her temper against Miss Hilly Hollbrock and had to struggle a lot to get another job with Miss Celia Foote.
Miss Skeeter is an extra ordinarily tall and ordinary looking girl. Both virtues has made her matrimonial prospects dim, which is adding to the tension at her home. Skeeter wants to be a writer, but is hardly successful in her ambition. Her mother’s illness has recently added to her trouble. The mystery surrounding the sudden departure of her long term maid Constantine is still unknown to her.
The story proceeds as a narration from each of these three women on a daily basis. A weekly column in a local newspaper brings Ailbeen and Skeeter closer. From their interaction, Skeeter gets an idea about writing a book about the maids in Jackson. Considering the danger involved in talking about their work and the English women in a racially divided place like Jackson, the feat was too difficult to achieve. The time available to write the book was also too less. Skeeter has to learn to stand up for herself and the people that she has chosen to represent in front of her own friends.
The story progresses through the struggles and the unending fear that the three women and the people who has helped them faces when they try to achieve their goal. The atrocities committed against black people when they stand against the white people and the discrimination against them at each level is also very honestly represented.
This book goes to the heart of the readers by the narration of the three women. Readers get to feel and empathize with the three women when they tell their own side of the story. The love and compassion that exists between the black women and the bonding that Skeeter develops with them is very touching. More over this book provides lots of moments where the reader will find him/herself chuckling at the way some incidents are narrated.
My verdict – This book is really worth reading considering the way an old subject has been depicted so beautifully by an author in her debut work. I have decided to put Ratings for the books.
Rating : 4.5/5