The help by Kathryn Stockett

IMG_1176You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

Segregation and racial discrimination used to be a huge bad sides of the US in the past and to be honest, the haven’t been successful solving this problem till today.

 

The book is set in 1962. The Civil Rights Movement of Martin L. King is in full swing. Previously Rosa Parks started the Bus Boykott. Now the March on Washington (1963) is close as well as the attack on J. F. Kennedy in Dallas.

In between this tense mood one of the maids living in Jackson, Alabama is telling her story. Her name is Aibileen. She has worked her entire life for white people as a house maid.

Skeeter (Eugenia Phelan) is a white woman, who had studied in New York and now returns to the south. After her arrival she realises, her family has a different maid. When she asks anybody after her loved nanny Constantine everybody pretends to know anything. When she goes to one of the meetings of the „Junior League“ a club of white upperclass women, living in Jackson, and Hilly one of her old friends tries to push the local racism to a completely new level by planing to make a new law, that makes it mandatory to have a separate toilet for their black house maids she decides to fight against her own society.

The topic of bathrooms leads trough the whole book and there is always something happening, that’s related either to toilets, poo or pee. This breaks the sad reality of the black people and makes the reader lough.

 

The language is really easy, but you have to read precisely, because the (uneducated) maid tend to have a horrible grammar, because the kinda had no opportunities to go to school. Because of this you might have to read some sentences twice or even three times.

In my opinion the book is a gerat choice if you want to know a little more about this dark chapter of American history. Aibileen would clearly be one of the bravest persons I have ever heard of, if she really existed (maybe there is a living template out there, because the author comes out of Mississippi). And the other characters serve there purpose wonderfully. You instinctively know wether to like or dislike them.

Johannes

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