Wow, this book is impeccable! This review is long overdue. I have been telling everyone in my life to read this book and I even bought a copy to be shared around. This is a winner because all 4 of Nancy Pearl's criteria are very strong--the characters, the setting, the plot, the writing. All so excellent. The Help refers to African-American maids in Mississippi in the early 60s. This fictional account, told from several points of view, including the help themselves and their employers just goes to show how layered and nuanced history and making change can be. There is a young white woman, Skeeter, who decides to interview maids and publish their stories without their names attached. This is so dangerous in so many ways. We are gripping our seats to see if Skeeter will get in and out of the African-American neighborhood without getting killed. I was literally clutching my stomach with the fear I had for the maids being caught out. Each character was so wondrously written that I could feel empathy for all of them.