Oprah Winfrey tells the story about her grandmother telling her that perhaps someday, if she was lucky and things went well, she might be able to work for a nice white woman. Oprah says, I wish my grandmother knew that now I have a whole lot of nice white women working for me!
This is a great read. Pure and simple. A powerful story, well told, easy to read, and makes you think. A good book always leaves you with at least one niggling question and here is the one I was left with after reading this one. Can we ever explain away how we behave or what we believe in, based on the time we lived in?
Set in the south during the civil rights movement, three women share their struggles and stories in a way that is unsettling and endearing. The characters of Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter will stay with you for a long time. Though highly entertaining, this is at its very essence not a happy story. Race relations during this era when white families had black help were troublesome and the tensions were real, but if we are honest, are these issues really in the past? When small steps occur to overcome hate and fear in our world, we should rejoice and applaud authors who take on challenging topics in such a readable fashion.