About once every five years, I totally, totally, totally fall in love with an adult novel. Interestingly, it's usually a book about women and the power of their friendships. I loved THE DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YAYA SISTERHOOD, then SECRET LIFE OF BEES. I just finished THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett, and it's definitely going on my list of new favorites.
Skeeter Phelan has just graduated from Ole Miss. She really wants to get a job in the world of publishing in New York City, but returns instead, to her family's plantation in Jackson, Mississippi. Skeeter is surprised to discover that Constantine, the family's maid and one of Skeeter's closest confidantes, is no longer employed by the family. No one will tell Skeeter where Constantine has gone.
Skeeter seeks out a job in journalism and ends up writing a housekeeping advice column for the local newspaper. The problem is, she has never done housework, and has no idea how to answer the questions given to her each week. She seeks advice from Aibileen, a friend's maid, and also becomes connected with Aibileen's best friend, Minny. The three women come together around a very important writing project…
I loved THE HELP. It made me laugh and it made me cry. I fell in love with Skeeter and Aibeleen and Minny, and wished I could sit at Aibileen's kitchen table drinking coffee with them. I admired the strength, and courage, and wisdom of these three women. As with most works of historical fiction, I had new insights into that particular period of time (I think this would be a great read aloud for a high school American History class).
A terrific read-- I can't recommend it highly enough!