By Kathryn Stockett
It’s Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they’d be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in a search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell…Tweet
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Everyone in the club really enjoyed this months book, only one person didn't manage to finish it, this was due to lack of time rather than anything else. It shocked us how much we enjoyed a story that is in essence about racism. Some of the things that went on and still go on around this topic are very ugly and show human kind at their worst. This book is very obviously a fictional account of what might have gone on, mixed with some elements of reality, for example, talking about certain people well known in Black History such as Martin Luther King.
As we were discussing the different characters we discovered that we each interpreted them very differently. We all felt they were a little stereotyped, but that this didn't detract that much from the overall story. The use of accents was very helpful in distinguishing the different characters, although to begin with it could be a little difficult to read. We all felt that Celia was one of our most favourite characters, she seemed to be the most realistic of the women. Although we found her relationship with Minny and her husband slightly odd. We all loved strength of the characters involved with the book, Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny. Some of things that they described were by turns very humorous, touching and terrifying. We wish that there was a real book written like this that we could read to have a better insight into the time period.
There were certain scenes that we felt were not necessary to do with Celia and her 'illness'. We were not at all sure that they were even realistic let alone added anything much to the book. They could have been included in a much less graphic fashion.
One thing we felt was missing from the book would be a section somewhere giving a little more history to the book. Maybe introducing some of the main historical figures in this time period, along with some kind of timeline so readers not familiar with it would have something to help them with the background.
As to the question of racism, and how it occurs within a population we decided that it can be taught through it being accepted within a community. But we also believe that having grown up in a racist culture a person can see that this is wrong and decide for themselves that everyone should be treated equal. In the time that this book was set this was a very difficult and dangerous thing to do, but thanks to those brave people things have changed. Sadly racism is still alive and well but maybe by reading books like this people can be taught to be more accepting.
The overall score out of 10 for this book was 7. We all agreed that we would definitely recommend it to our friends.
The help are the black community who spend their lives bringing up the children of upper-class white families. With their own children being looked after by someone else, the help spend their days feeding, dressing and playing with the children they are employed to look after, only to see them grow up and turn out like the rest of the white community, discriminating against the people who have raised them.
Aibileen dedicates all her working time to Miss Elizabeth Leefolt's child, Mae Mobley, whilst trying to heal the scars left by her own son's death. Minny finally manages to find a new job working for Miss Celia Foote, who, luckily for Minny, is too new to the town to know anything about her. Aibileen and Minny have their own problems at home, as well as those surrounding their work for the white families. This book is long and to begin with can be tough, however it is very eye opening and gripping.
This book is amazing and really opened my eyes to what it was like for black maids during the 1950s and 60s. I loved the characters and Minny was my favourite character but I loved them all! It's very funny as well as heart warming!
An excellent read, definitely recommend.
Not one of the best books I've read but a good one to start with.
It was a great book and I enjoyed reading.