Friday, 19 August 2011

Something for the weekend...

In the first of our books recommended for a weekend read...

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Stockett’s novel about the lives of African-American maids and their white employers is one of the best books I’ve ever read and one I will pick up many times in the future. The subject of affection between white and black people in times of segregation, is rarely handled with such skill and elegance.
The characters are all so well written, from the maids and white employers to their children and husbands that each one becomes deeply ingrained in the readers imagination. Before long, one feels as though they know each individual intimately. Their struggles and fears, hopes and dreams become those of the reader and subsequently readers can only be better for knowing these characters in all their idiosyncrasies and habits.
Whether or not Stockett can surpass The Help remains to be seen particularly with the lawsuit she is facing over her debut novel from her brother’s maid as of February 2011.

The subjects covered in The Help are indeed risky topics for a white author, even with Stockett’s experience of being raised by a black maid herself, but a good novel is a good novel in my opinion and Stockett has accomplished a fine piece of writing if nothing else from this. A wonderful account of the struggle against the KKK and white supremacy in 1960′s segregated America, The Help is a classic of its time. Stockett has achieved something truly moving and important with this book and will hopefully go on to further her talent.

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