Author: Kathryn Stockett
The story is set in Missisippi at the time when racism was at its peak in the US and the white kids were raised by their black maids. Skeeter after graduating from her college comes back to Jackson where her parents are. However, with her liberal thinking she finds herself a misfit for the small conservative town. The treatment meted out to the black maids by their white mistresses always irks her. She’s itching to become a writer and towards her goal, starts writing the daily housekeeping column for the local newspaper. Given the background, a white lady has little knowledge of housekeeping and hence she resorts to her friend’s maid Abileen to help her out with the tips and tricks. One day an editor of a popular newspaper advises Skeeter than if she wants to make it big in journaling/writing she has to come up with something nobody has ever thought of. Skeeter takes this advice to heart and comes up with the most radical plan. To execute this plan she needs the help of many black maids in her town, starting with Aibleen. This plan changes the map of her life. Even though it makes her lose her boyfriend and puts her and the maids’ life at risk, it gives all the participants a ray of hope. It is the only light in their life. The way she executes her plan and the secrets that unfold during the execution are the essence of the novel.
I think the author has done a brilliant job – while reading the novel you forget that it’s a piece of fiction, you get so engrossed. You’re completely transported to Missisippi and with every page, your eagerness to read the next only increases.
Bottomline: Love it!