I read an Amazon review of the novel that told a reader not to worry that they would have to read over 400 pages of depressing oppression. This is true -- "The Help" makes Jim Crow palatable. I don't think this is a good thing.
The Help paints a powerful, all too painful and more importantly, accurate picture of a snapshot in time. It's all there -- the racism and mean-spiritedness and compassion and love. No matter what region you are from, it is a story that transcends.
Our popular culture obsession is with the "largely fictional" book, The Help. Sounds like an opportune moment for second wave feminists to engage in some serious deconstructionist critical analysis. Or maybe not.
Admittedly, I come from a lily-white family, English on both sides. However, I believe that a person doesn't have to be black to feel the effects of racism -- a point that Kathryn Stockett makes very well in her novel, "The Help."