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I LOVE to read. I have ever since I was a child. Despite my love for history and my interest in government, my favorite books are novels.

Thanks to a recommendation from my Grandma Lee, I recently picked up a new book called, ” The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. This is her debut novel and I seriously could not put it down.

It is a story of three women in 1962: a 23-year-old and recent Ole Miss graduate and two African-American women, who work as “The Help” (nanny and maid) in the town of Jackson, Mississippi.

It is a riveting story of the civil rights movement through the eyes of these three women.

I finished the book this past weekend and as I closed the book, I had several resounding thoughts:

It’s been a long time since I’ve loved a book that much. When life got busy and several days would pass without a page read, I missed the book. I missed the characters. The book is written in such a captivating manner, that you truly feel that you are sitting at a kitchen table talking with these women, hearing their stories and learning from their perspective.

I am naive. Growing up, I never saw racism. I was always taught that we all the same in God’s eyes, regardless of your height, race, hair color or accent. Period. No exceptions. Because I never saw racism, I thought it didn’t exist, that as a country we were past that. When I thought about the civil rights movement, I always thought that it was SUCH a long time ago. Not really. It was in my parent’s lifetime. 1962 really wasn’t that long ago. As I read the book, I was ashamed of how little I really knew. This book opened my eyes to the true hatred in people’s hearts. In many ways, we as a nation have made great progress. On the other hand it saddens me to realize that we still have SO far to go.

My review: I give this book 10/10. Seriously, no joke. It was that good.

The Help is being made into a movie and will be in theaters August 1st. Woot! Woot! Definitely planning an evening with the girls for opening night.

Here are some sneak peak movie scenes and the trailer. The cast will include: Emma Stone, Sissy Spacek, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Allison Janney (she played CJ on The West Wing!)

The best deal on the book is at Costco. Go get it and be sure to read it before August 1st. Happy reading!