The help, Kathryn Stockett

   The Help is a novel written by Kathryn Stockett and published in 2009. It is quite known since then, it was a best-seller, but I really wanted to talk about it because I think it is really worth it. It deals with racial segregation in the USA in the 1960’s, which is a serious and important topic. The story occurs in Jackson, Mississippi, a southern state where segregation was present everywhere.

   We follow the life of two main characters, Aibileen and Minny who are both African-American and who work as maids for white families. The third protagonist is Skeeter, she is a young white woman who studies journalism and she has a different mentality comparing to the other white women she spends her time with. Indeed, even though she also has a maid, she cares about her and behaves well with her, not like the rest of her friends. When she comes back to her house after finishing her studies, she finds out that Constantine, her maid, left without saying anything. Then, she decides she wants to collaborate with black women to write a book about the maids’ living conditions, life, etc… At first, this project seems impossible due to the racial laws of the time but a surprising friendship will appear.

   This book is quite hard to read in english because it is written in an oral way so I actually recommend to read it in french. I loved this powerful story because it showed that even if there was segregation, some black and white people could still be wise enough to work together in order to change things. The events that happen are well told because the author was herself born in Jackson and raised by a black woman. A movie was adapted from the book in 2011, the cast is amazing, the actors embody their characters so well. Even if you’ve seen the movie, you can still read the book because there are some differences regarding the point of views, etc…

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