I started this draft a month ago and am finally getting around to writing it. Whoops.
If you haven't heard of The Help by now, I'd be really, really surprised. But maybe you aren't a pop culture lover like me. Whatever the case, I highly suggest you run to the nearest book retailer, buy this book, and get lost in it's 400+ pages. And then, when all is said and done, you can go and watch the movie, which was just released and I hear is pretty fabulous (of course, movies are never as good as the book though, in my opinion).
Confession: I was, without a doubt, born in the wrong era. I love everything about the way of the life in the 40s, 50s, and 60s and wish I could travel back in time and be in my late teens/early 20s during each decade. Since I have such a strong love for the simpler way of life that presented itself 40-60 years ago, I tend to gravitate toward books that focus on this time period.
The Help is set in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, and is the story of four very different women who form an unlikely bond. Without saying too much, two of the women are white women, two are the black hired help that take care of the house duties. A lot of circumstances leads one of the women, Skeeter, to write a book about the help's experiences working for white people, in their own words.
While the author, Kathryn Stockett, did grow up in Jackson and did have hired help while growing up, the novel is fictitious-- but you would never guess it. Granted I can't say from experience, but the novel encompasses all that I imagined life in the south for a black person would have been like in the 60s. It's so wonderfully written and, honestly, in the hundreds of books I have read, it is probably my favorite book of all time.