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The Help tells the story of Aibileen and Minny, a pair of black maids who have spent their lives cleaning the homes and raising the children of white women, and Skeeter, a recent college graduate who is still trying to find herself, and their idea to pen a novel about what it's like to live and work the town of Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962.
One word: exquisite.
Not only has Kathryn Stockett managed to create a fabulous novel packed with richly depicted characters you'll adore, she tells an intricate and thought-provoking story that will keep you glued to the pages. Quite frankly, The Help is an addictive piece of work that's hard to put down once you turn the first page.
But besides being an absolute joy to read, Stockett's novel is well-written and especially thoughtful because it considers dialect, speech patterns, and personal memories of each character, weaving them each into a beautifully sentimental story about three women and their struggles within society of the South.
Moreover, it isn't difficult to dive right into the lives of Minny, Skeeter, and Aibileen. They're wonderful characters with thoughts, dreams, and aspirations of their own that make them real and strikingly human. Their stories flow easily, because they are simply framed and simply told, but they are compelling and enjoyable nonetheless.
The Help will certainly prove to be an emotional roller coaster ride, so I recommend keeping a box of tissues handy - just in case.
Envisioned in conjunction with the civil rights movement The Help portrays the lives of three women in Jackson, Mississippi. As such, Stockett's novel often portrays some of the worst aspects of racism - and the abject unfairness that such extraordinary women face such terrible circumstances.
Parts of this novel will ultimately perturb you because of the pure inability of some characters to see past themselves - and their own unfounded prejudices - to fully view the plight of others and manage even the smallest iota of humanity.