My Book Club is reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett for our February meeting. It's been a long time since I've read a book that I have trouble putting down, but this is one. Kathryn Stockett has written a first novel that hit the bestseller list which in itself is a rare happening.
She has written a story about the South in the '60's using the viewpoint of three women. One is white and the other two are black women who work as maids or 'the help' as they were known. It was a period when the Civil Rights movement was in full swing but the benefits were slow to come. Skeeter, the 23 year old white woman, wants to write a book showing how the women in Jackson, MS who are 'the help' view their mistresses, their jobs, their world. She enlists the aid of Aibileen and Minnie, black women who worked for Skeeter's friends. Both women are in mortal fear at the prospect, but they want the world to know the truth. We learn of the lives of all three women as we follow their everyday routines.
Katahryn Stockett has captured three distinctly different personalities, writing with humor, heart-touching scenes, and a clear look at the times. It's a good story enhanced by excellent writing skills. Some authors can craft a fine story but it goes nowhere due to amateur or poor writing skills. And just the opposite can happen, as well. Someone who writes prose that sings can put a lot of sentences together that sound pretty but don't give the reader much of a story. To be able to do both brings magic to the reader.
I'm only partway through the book, but it won't be long before I finish. It's sitting on an end table and calls out to me each time I pass it. I normally reserve evenings for reading time, but I might just have to sit down with a cup of tea this afternoon and see what Minnie is up to next.
I feel certain our Book Club will have a rousing discussion next month when The Help is our topic.