Enter a vanished and unjust world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children, but aren’t trusted not to steal the silver…
There’s Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son’s tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from College, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared.
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…
Set in the Deep South in the early Sixties this is a story of friendships between the unlikeliest of people, when integration on a personal level was not the done thing, racism and segregation was the norm and the dangers the black maids overcame to tell their stories in a time of civil unrest.
The three main characters Aibileen, Skeeter and Minnie form a real tight bond, a forever friendship, it’s a totally believable book as are the characters, this is so well written you actually feel that that this book is a true story and I guess in some ways it is. I loved how Stockett has the characters telling the story in their natural tongue which comes across well, I found myself reading it in my head with a Southern twang.
Skeeter sees the future where black and white will integrate and her disapproval of segregation shows all through the book. This is why she starts to write her book in the first place, to highlight what these women did and went through for their own and their white families. You’ll love Minnie’s “sassy attitude” and sharp tongue which gets her into trouble on more than one occasion. For me, Aibileen is the real star of the story. “You is kind. You is smart. You is important” – the words she repeats to Mae Mobley daily hoping she’ll believe them, Aibileen has such a big heart and loves her white children as if they were her own. And Miss Hilly – oh didn’t she just get her just desserts! In more ways than one! One of the best moments in the book.
I was glad that I had read the book before seeing the movie as there are a significant amount of differences in the book to the movie but nothing too detrimental. I loved how the book transferred to screen, the actresses were just as I had visualised them in the book – was well cast. I loved this book, it’s now one of my favourites and everyone should read it.
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