This was the read for my book group back in March. I had both read the book and seen the movie previously and loved both. The responses from the group were mixed and we had a great debate on racism, both across the pond and here in the UK.
The book is narrated by three of the central characters to the storyline; Skeeter Phelan, a white girl from the South and two black maids, Aibileen and Minny.
Skeeter is from a well established white family. She has graduated from college, has a set of friends and is active in the local community. Her plan is to enter the world of journalism and in doing so she challenges the behaviours and events of the time. Meanwhile, her mother wants Skeeter to marry into a good family, live in a big house with a black maid, but for Skeeter that just is not enough.
Determined to use her degree, Skeeter writes to the publishing house of Harper and Row in New York. When she hears back, it is not with a job offer, but with some good advice and wisely Skeeter quietly follows it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the author has managed magnificently for a first book, to transport the readers back to the deep south of the United States when the civil rights movement was steadfast in it's dreams, hopes and aspirations for the future; a time when Martin Luther said "I have a dream"
The characters and plot were strong and believable and I have rarely read a book twice in a year, but this one I have.