I really enjoyed Edward Rutherford's other books the Princes of Ireland and Sarum. This book was an informative history review. It wasn't nearly as engaging as the Princes book. Having said that, I am glad to have heard it. I don't feel like I wasted my time, but I do feel it wasn't worth two credits. In his other works, he developed the characters so well that you found yourself following them with a passion. Here he tells us who they are well enough to recognize them but not so we feel for them.
As a guy, I was hesitant to get this book because it seems like such a chick book. Boy am I glad I didn't let that stop me. I think this is the best book I have heard in a long time. The voices of the characters are so well cast and the topic is eye opening.
It is hard to picture living in the south during the Sixties as a white or black woman. The fact is there were so many factors affecting people then. Social standing expectations were very influential in driving choices. Being a single woman from a society family and not wanting to become a housewife was unheard of. Treating your black help like they didn't matter was just the way it was. Having someone there to handle the kids was a fact of life for many women inf the South back then. Some folks were incredibly insensitive yet others treated the help like family.
From the side of the help, the fear of trouble around the corner was overwhelming. The characters in the book show how many different ways of coping came about. These women are struggling to care for their own families and taking care of their employer's families as well.
Then of course there are the characters who entertain you because they are so typical. From the bossy head of the women's society club to the hussy who stole her boyfriend. They all entertain you as you see them stumble all over themselves.
Kathryn Stockett captures the emotion and frustrations of living at a time when change was coming but not fast enough. She shows how people will fight for to keep things as they are regardless of whether is it right or wrong. Yet even in such hard times,their are heroes who will stand up and say no I won't go along to get along.
I have listened to this book three times it was so good!
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