As a librarian, I’m often told I “have to” read one book or another. No, I don’t. If enough people tell me that tho, I’d be nuts not to listen, especially when their recommendation is ratified by over a year and a half on best-seller lists. Still, this took me a while.
Skeeter, just graduated from college and living with her parents again, wants to write. She gets a job composing a housekeeping column in the local paper, but, knowing nothing about cleaning, questions Aibileen, a friend’s maid. Looking for a book-length topic, Skeeter settles on telling the stories of Black domestic workers, and after considerable early resistance, recruits enough volunteers.
It’s a hot, even dangerous topic, given the background of the Civil Rights Movement, and the virulently racist nature of Hilly, Skeeter’s best friend queen bee of Jackson society. All the book’s participants could get fired or worse. Much worse.
It’s pretty estrogenic , and a white author writing about Blacks in Jackson, Mississippi in the early ’60′s was initially a little hard to swallow. The characters grew on me tho, and the book is nicely plotted. A good read.