All I can say is you need to read this book. I am someone who has major issues with inequality - issues as in I can't understand it. I can't understand how people can judge someone by the color of their skin or the amount of money they have in the bank or because of the town they were raised in. Maybe it's because I come from a family of all colors: Black,White, Hispanic, Asian, Italian, and more - our extended family photos are not monotonous to the eye. We are spread out all over the world these days. We have chosen a myriad of professions. But we all love each other, and accept each other and the choices we've made, even if we don't necessarily agree with them.
I won't quote the book jacket for you, but at the conclusion of the novel, there is a chapter (following the acknowledgments) titled "Too Little, Too Late" - you have to read this, but after you finish the story (no reading the end first Marianne). I would like to share two quotes from this section.
Howell Raines, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Grady Gift, said: "There is no trickier subject for a writer from the South than that of affection between a black person and a white one in the unequal world of segregation. For the dishonesty upon which a society is founded makes every emotion suspect, makes it impossible to know whether what flowed between two people was honest feeling or pity or pragmatism."
And a quote from the book, the words of the mother of our protagonist, "We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought."
The Help is set in 1960s Mississippi - when Martin Luther King is marching Washington and equal rights are at the forefront of many minds of US citizens. Yet most of those citizens are too afraid to do anything about - until Skeeter Stockett decides to take a stand. I loved reading about the Alien Martian Luther King (no, that's not a typo), I loved learning what really was in that pie Hillie ate (reminded me of the ex lax brownies we made for a prank in college), and I loved following the characters as they come into their own and finally feel they have some worth.
Such a great story, please reserve this one at the library. You'll be glad you did.