Monday, 12 February 2018

Review: The Help

Stockett's debut novel deftly interweaves the first person stories of three women in 1960s Mississippi - and focuses on the relationship between black maids and their white employers.

The voices feel authentic and distinctive - and each has an important, and occasionally shockingly heart-tearing, story of racial prejudice and female empowerment. Together they make for a cracking read with a strong sense of place and character. Even the Southern summer heatwave made its presence felt.

If there is a criticism, it is that it relies too much on a white saviour character to propel the narrative. Perhaps that's realistic, but it is a repeated feature of other novels in the same genre.

Verdict: Compelling, moving and funny.

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