The Help

It is not often that a historical fiction novel earns its place on the “favorite books” shelf next to my bed. I mean, really. How could an artist’s rendering of the Civil Rights era compete with the likes of Enders Game and The Elegance of the Hedgehog?

The Help does.

At once nail-bitingly suspenseful, heartwarming, insightful, and often hilarious, Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel is a masterpiece. Her uncompromisingly real voice captures three womens’ struggle to turn 1962 Jackson, Mississippi on its head. Aibileen, a black maid raising her seventeenth white child ends up neck-deep in Skeeter’s scheme to tell the stories of “the help.” But it is Minny, possibly the sassiest maid in the whole of the South, who holds the story together. Her acerbic personality, brutal honesty, and tough-guy demeanor convince the other women to open up to Skeeter, whose Caucasian heritage makes it impossible for her to truly connect.

This novel will change your perception of the Civil Rights era forever. With such glaringly human, down-to-earth characters, it is impossible not to fall in love. You’ll be shouting, laughing, crying and scheming with Aibileen, Skeeter and Minny through every page of the roller-coaster ride that is The Help.