Last summer I read Kathryn Stockett's The Help. I loved it. I loved it so much that I didn't even bother to write a real review on Goodreads where I usually log the books I've read. I just told everyone I knew to go buy the book and read it right then.
The Help tells the story of the maids who run households behind the scenes in the segregated south. "Skeeter", an aspiring writer, comes home to Jackson, Mississippi, in the summer of 1961. Through a series of events, she ends up interviewing the maids and writing a book that reveals how wealthy white families treat "the help". Although certainly a book set in the civil rights movement, it is less a period piece than a story about the complex relationship between black women and the white families they work for. I especially loved the voices of Aibilene and Minnie (the two main maids in the story).
The movie version came out today and I went with several of my teacher friends. I am always prepared to hate movie versions of books. Sometimes the story is changed so much as to be unrecognizable. Sometimes the movie sticks so closely to the novel that it is plodding and no fun at all as a movie. Fortunately, this film was neither. I really liked the performances of Viola Davis and Octavia Davis turned in as the long-suffering Aibilene and the sassy Minnie.
It's a good movie to see with other women. Other than a few swear words and a bit of historically-accurate violence, it's a "clean" movie you could take your mom or your grandma or your teenage niece to. You could take a guy to it too. It's not a romance so I think a guy could handle it although all the main characters are women and the emphasis is on Relationships.
Here's the early-60s inspired outfit I wore to see the movie. My housemate thought I looked "cute" so she took my picture. I thought I'd stick it in here to record how I look on my last day as a 37 year old. I'm not so sure I like how I look in a full skirt. I need a waist. If you find one, send it my way.
And go see the movie!