I just finished my first book of the read-a-thon. I actually had an ARC of this book for a while, but for some reason I just kept avoiding it. Well, I am glad I changed my mind. I really loved this book and found myself swept up in the characters and their stories.
The book takes place in Mississippi in the early 60s. While some parts of the nation are awakening to civil rights, Mississippi is not one of those parts. This is a world of segregation and racism, inequality and ignorance. The book follows the lives of three characters, Aibileen who is a black maid who has raised over seventeen white children, Minny another black maid who has lost several jobs due to her inability to “keep her mouth shut” and Skeeter the young white woman who is home from college. Skeeter decides she is going to write a book that is a collection of maids’ stories, not realizing the dangers that such an endeavor faces. What follows is an unlikely friendship between these three woman as they share their stories of heartbreak, loss and love.
The books alternates between these three characters and we learn about their lives, their pasts and all the complexities that make up each woman. Each woman is taking a gigantic risk in this project and they all have something to lose. But what they have to gain is so much more important.
I have included the following quote from the book, which I think sums it up quite nicely:
“Wasn’t that the point of hte book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.”