I don't know what I can add to what already has been said because so many people have read this book already. And yes I'll admit that I read it because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I couldn't believe how enthralled in the book I was. I didn't read it fast, though I was pretty much hooked after the first chapter about Aibileen. I could just feel the south just oozing out of her words, and you can't really get more south than Mississippi.
The Help stays pretty air-tight to what was going on in Jackson, Mississippi at the time (i.e. Medgar Ever's assassination was put in and Kennedy's). The characters are so well drawn out that I would have no trouble believing they were real. Even the secondary characters are not left in the dust.
In the beginning the reader is kind of eased into what will be going on. The plot isn't completely clear until further in. And once that gets going things start to get more complex. They weren't even simple to begin with but as I kept reading I saw how fragile that safety line was. And Aibileen, Skeeter, and Minny were all crossing that fragile line that was separating whites and blacks.
What really else can I say? I felt the book more than anything. I felt the fear, the anger, the love, and the sadness. And more than any of the characters, I could feel for Aibileen. Her love for Mea was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. She is a character I will not soon forget and hope I never do.
When I first finished this book I had mixed feelings. I'm one of those that like a nice neat bow tied at the end of a story. This book didn't end that way. But just because I want it to end in a nice bow doesn't mean it should. It ended kind of like a new beginning which I could live with.