My mother was raised in southern Mississippi but moved to Arkansas when she was 18 and has been here ever since.  She occasionally talked about the ladies that worked in her house and took care of her family.  I’ve always felt that I was brought up juxtaposed to that culture, but never really understood it.  After reading The Help, I understand the culture much better and I understand her better.  I never thought of her as the baby growing up in that culture or a teenager coming into her own.  This book has helped me see her from a different perspective.  It was like getting to peer into her childhood.

Synopsis

Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women:

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town…

from  http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Help/Kathryn-Stockett/e/9780399155345