Summary: 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 to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women—mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends—view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t. -- Putnam
Last night, The Preschool Moms Book Club met to discuss THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett. It's not surprising that we all really enjoyed this book -- you can read my review here. I was actually over an hour late to our meeting, so I'm not sure how much of the discussion I missed. But throughout the life of our book club, I've found that the books we really like don't always equate to the best discussions. That's not to say that our meeting wasn't a lot of fun, but the reading guide didn't really lend itself to any "controversy" in our group. Everyone pretty much agreed on all of the issues; however, there were some slight disagreements about some of the characters.
I do think the meeting went very well though. It was definitely an enjoyable night out (away from the kids) for a bunch of moms. There were lots of interesting side discussions especially since the Mike's Hard Lemonades and red wine were flowing, but there were also some interesting interpretations of some of the characters' actions. We all agreed that THE HELP would make a terrific movie, and we had a lot of fun trying to cast the characters.
Next month, we will be reading PEACE LIKE A RIVER by Leif Enger. The book came out quite a few years ago, and I can't remember if I read it or not. (If I can't even remember that, I guess it's safe to say that I need to read it again!) The book has won some pretty prestigious awards so I'm actually looking forward to reading it.
Summary: Hailed as one of the year's top five novels by Time, and selected as one of the best books of the year by nearly all major newspapers, national bestseller Peace Like a River captured the hearts of a nation in need of comfort. "A rich mixture of adventure, tragedy, and healing," Peace Like a River is "a collage of legends from sources sacred and profane—from the Old Testament to the Old West, from the Gospels to police dramas" (Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor). In "lyrical, openhearted prose" (Michael Glitz, The New York Post), Enger tells the story of eleven-year-old Reuben Land, an asthmatic boy who has reason to believe in miracles. Along with his sister and father, Reuben finds himself on a cross-country search for his outlaw older brother who has been controversially charged with murder. Their journey is touched by serendipity and the kindness of strangers, and its remarkable conclusion shows how family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, the most tragic of fates. Leif Enger's "miraculous" (Valerie Ryan, The Seattle Times) novel is a "perfect book for an anxious time, a book of great literary merit that nonetheless restores readers' faith in the kindness of stories" (Marta Salij, Detroit Free Press). -- Grove Atlantic