I recently re-read The Help trying to understand the great appeal of this book. This appeared to be a comfort read for many including those in my book group. Still, I am left feeling uncomfortable because we have and yet again, a white perspective on life for black people in the south of the mid-20th century. While the book attempts to take an open and sympathetic view it still remains that no white person could ever effectively represent life for African Americans in this country. Imagine the surprise in my book group when I tried to relay these feelings. What, couldn't I see how righteous they were in their indignation and disgust for the bigotry portrayed? This remains a story from one perspective, leaving pitifully undeveloped the inner lives of those black women caretakers who hid in the dark fearful for their families and themselves.
What redeemed this book just a bit for me was that the author gave Aibileen the option of eventually putting her own story in her own words. But the rest of it was just a vehicle to give a large section of this country the feeling that they 'get it' when in fact, they never will.