Thursday, October 18, 2012

Staff Picks

The Help

So many friends and patrons have enjoyed Kathyrn Stockett’s The Help and at last I’ve had the chance to read it.  I definitely can see the appeal of this novel.

Kathryn Stockett’s vivid depictions of Jackson, Mississippi in 1963 and her lively characters made this a fast read even at 451 pages.  It’s hard to put down this book!
Patrons who can recall the decade assure me that Stockett’s descriptions are dead-on accurate.
Here’s The Help in a nutshell: a young journalist in Jackson, Mississippi pens a tell-all from the point of view of “the help.”  The maids’ stories and the reaction of their employers when they find themselves the subject of the book echo the real life drama of the times.  

The Help is heartbreaking, enlightening, and surprisingly hilarious at times.  On the serious side, Civil Rights leader Medger Evans is slain during the course of the story.  The attack sends shock waves through the black community and highlights the fact that there really are two very separate Mississippis in 1963.  While the white community is a land of country clubs, white gloves, and tea parties, life for most blacks is filled with so many struggles they cease to even notice them.  Even so, maids like the kind, wise Aibileen and feisty Minny (especially Minny!) find ways to dish out some just desserts.

I just love these characters!

Alicia Cavitt
Information Specialist