I picked up this book on offer with a newspaper, expecting nothing more than an easy, slightly cheesy read for a long train journey. However, it was far better written and engaging than I expected and I've been recommending it ever since.
The Help deals with some serious subject matter - the shocking racial inequality in the southern USA before the Civil Rights movement - but it does so in an accessible way, through characters you can believe in. At a time when rich white families are building separate outdoor bathrooms for their black maids, aspiring journalist Skeeter decides to write a book from the maids' perspective, collecting their life stories and experiences. The consequences are more dramatic than she could have imagined...
This is a warm, funny, pacy and thought-provoking book with rounded characters you can either love or love to hate - it had me alternately laughing and raging.
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