The back story of this debut novel is unsettling: A young, white first-time author, inspired by her own childhood relationship with her family maid in Jackson, Mississippi, sets out to write a novel from the point of view of black maids in the midst of the civil rights era. Hilly Holbrook, a Junior Leaguer, is encouraging white families to build separate bathrooms for their black maids. The maids, frightened and afraid to fight against this discrimination find help from Skeeter, also a Junior Leaguer, but one who is a little more forward thinking.
Skeeter writes for the local paper about housekeeping tips, which is ridiculous because her privileged life has never included the use of stain removal skills. So she turns to her friend Elizabeth’s maid, Aibileen, who tells her what to do to solve common household issues. She gains the interest of a Harper Row editor with the idea of a book based on interviews with black maids about their relationships with their employers. Gaining the trust of the maids is difficult, but once she has that the pace is quick with a lot of tension. Definitely a worthy book club pick. Check catalog for availability.
Submitted by Jacki @ MPL Central.