The Help

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The Help
544 pages; Penguin Group

Because it served as a reminder of a painful history, while showing us what a few courageous individuals can accomplish.

In 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi, two black women working in white households and a young white reporter team up to expose the truth about what "the help" endure. Together the three shake up the town, exposing ugly hatreds, crimes and inequalities. This novel opened a national conversation about race—including some backlash from commentators like Roxane Gay, which made conversation all the more complex and challenging. And yet, as Octavia Butler and Viola Davis told Oprah, the story also gives readers insight into the strength, courage and dignity of the maids themselves—qualities that have been too often overlooked.
— Dawn Raffel