The Help


This is a book I will be studying in English next year and it has got me into feminist books and books about African-American experiences. The story (also turned into a film in 2011) follows Aibileen and Minny; two black maids in 1962-1965. The third main character, Eugenia Phelan  (or Miss Skeeter) is a white woman of 22 who has returned to Jackson, Mississippi, after university.

As each of the women discover their freedom, they rely on each other for friendship and support. This would have been uncommon at the time as the three come from different backgrounds and classes.

Minny and Aibileen are stuck under the control of their white bosses and Skeeter is stuck at home with her controlling mother. All Skeeter wants is to find the truth about her family’s old maid, Constantine, whilst Minny and Aibileen want equality for their peoole. However, what Skeeter has to learn is who her real friends are, the struggles of dating and how to start her dream career in writing. Along the women’s journey, they will have to find the strength to stand up for their values and how to protect themselves and each other through this.

A book showing women’s power, the struggles of black women in a white society and the hardships of every person’s life; whether privileged or not. This book is empowering and liberating (and tear-jerking in some places!) A must-read in my opinion! Thanks for reading- Alice

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