I loved one of the comments on the back cover of this book: "A laugh-out-loud, vociferously angry must-read". I would only add "Unequivocally poignant and touching".
I would give it 10 stars if I could. Love, hate, integration, familial relationships, tolerance, hope... this is what the book is about. A delightful, funny, moving read. Upsetting and uplifting at the same time.
Jackson, Mississippi, 1960s. When racial integration was still hardly tolerated, the respective paths of two black maids and a white lady belonging to the upper class circle cross. Their personal tales interweave and blend, with a project in mind which will ultimately rock the proverbial boat.
Each main character writes in first person: Aibileen, who is raising her umpteenth white child with love and dedication while constantly thinking of her own son, now dead.
Minny, Aibileen's close friend, married with several children of her own, a maid with a soft heart but a sharp tongue which gets her into trouble more often than not.
Miss Skeeter, a white lady with her own dreams, whose unconventional ideas contrast mildly, and later on, sharply with the society and family she was born into. She also wants to find out why the adored black maid who raised her, Constantine, has inexplicably disappeared. No one is willing to tell her.
Each lady is surrounded by her own sets of characters in the background, characters that however are primary pawns to what will eventually happen.
The author gives voice to Aibileen's and Minny's language superbly. You will find a language contrast between the well-schooled Miss Skeeter and both maids, which renders a vivid and true portrait of their lives and views.
This is, in my opinion, a rare timeless piece of narrative, which will make you think as well as entertain you like very few books can. Wonderful, really wonderful. Well done to the author Ms. Kathryn Stockett!