The Help by Kathryn Stockett (2009 by Amy Einhorn Books: G. P. Putnam’s Sons)
I consider this one of my “Must Reads” with some of the greats like To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee, 1960 by Harper & Row) and Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell, 1936 by The Macmillan Company). These treasures are weapons in a war, reminding us how to treat humankind by being kind humans.
We all like to believe we are a Skeeter, but in closer reflection, are we really? Do we risk losing it all (family respect, love, job opportunities, and friendship in Skeeter’s case) when our convictions tell us to stand strong, or do we accept the status quo, follow the social lead, and turn a bling eye to what we know to be wrong? While very funny, exquisitely written, and quite entertaining, this story will also make you take a look at yourself and ask some tough questions. At times it will make you sick because, even though it is fiction, you know it is also the truth.
I recommend reading the book before seeing the movie; while it is a wonderful film (I cried more than just once), there are some key conversations that are either left out or not detailed in enough depth the get the full onslaught of emotion and understanding.
Read it this week, and then see it this weekend!