Did you go see The Help on the big screen? USA today called it a "surprise summer hit," far surpassing attendance expectations for a mid-budget drama this time of year. Of course, those of us who loved the book aren't surprised! If the movie has whetted your appetite for some read-alikes, you may want to try these.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Lily Owens is a white girl living in the South in the mid-60s whose mother has died in a tragic accident. Her family's maid, Rosaleen, protects her until a racial incident puts them on the run. They are taken in by the beekeeping Boatwright sisters, who teach them about love, family, and womanhood in a story that is both beautiful and empowering.
The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Although set against a different backdrop than The Help, this book also explores the impact racial discrimination has on relationships throughout our lives. Chinese-American Henry Lee recalls his first childhood love, Japanese-American Keiko Okabe, whose family was placed in an internment camp during World War II.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
One of the criticisms leveled at The Help is that it portrays only a small slice of the Jim Crow experience, glossing over the harsher realities faced by many African Americans. If you're looking for a more complex, hard-edged examination of Southern race relations, this sophisticated crime drama both explores and rejects our stereotypes and prejudices. Two childhood friends, one black and one white, are torn about when the white boy is accused (though never convicted) of murder. Many years later, when another girl goes missing in their town, the two men are forced to face each other again.
Submitted by Audrey @ Forest Home