by Kathryn Stockett
Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
When Skeeter Davis comes home to Jackson, Mississippi after her college graduation in 1964, things aren’t the same. And it isn’t just the fact that Constantine, the “help” who Skeeter considered a second mother, has disappeared in some cloud of secrecy. Skeeter is begining to see the flawed relationships between the white families and the black women who work in their homes, beginning to understand the injustice and racism that permeates their lives. And she knows it has to change.
So she decides to write a book, a book filled with stories about “the help.” And in their own words, in their own time, the women come to her and tell these stories over and over. About the strange and often conflicted relationships they have with the families they work for. About the pain and sorrow that fills their lives. About the love they are sometimes lucky enough to receive from people whose lives are so diametrically opposed to their own.
What Skeeter does is so remarkable in its simplicity, so exactly perfect, and so empowering for her and for Aibilene, and Minnie, and all the other women who tell their stories in their own words. The power of stories to change, to heal, to give courage and conviction.
The power of one young woman using her particular gift to make a small difference.
That’s what I loved most about this book.