by Kathryn Stockett
reviewed by Briana Escobar
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, is an exquisite novel that takes place in the early 1960’s in Jackson, Mississippi. The novel switches point of views from an African American maid named Minny, an African American maid named Aibileen, and a white woman named Skeeter. Stockett does a fantastic job of showing the stark contrast between the lives of Caucasians and African Americans in the south during the 1960’s. This novel features the story of Skeeter, who comes up with the idea of writing a book about the lives of African American maids in Jackson, Mississippi, and what really happens behind the closed doors of the families they work for. We get a glimpse into how truly dangerous it was for people of different races to simply interact with one another, let alone write a controversial book that reveals the town’s secrets. Skeeter, with the help of over a dozen maids, writes this book and manages to get it published. The Help allows us to step into the town of Jackson, Mississippi and experience the humor, drama, and horror of the reality of living there in the early 1960’s.
Reading this novel allowed me to realize how far we’ve come concerning civil rights, and yet how much we can improve. While reading, I could not help but think of the Black Lives Matter movement that has been picking up momentum lately and how similar yet different it is to the civil right’s movement in the sixties. Of course people of color have significantly more rights now; however, some people continue to resist equal treatment of all races. This proved to be an exceptionally interesting read and I definitely recommend it to everyone.