I had coffee with a girlfriend Sunday and she lent this book to me. She started to tell me the story line and I remembered hearing the tail end of an interview with the author on NPR and how she is still getting a lot of flack in her Mississippi home town for writing this book.
I remembered the author closing the interview by saying she wrote the book because white people kept telling her how much they loved their black employees and how much their black employees loved them. Only, the author says, she never once heard the same sentiments from the black employees.
I devoured this book.
The story was character driven and I could see each person in my mind - their mannerisms, the way they talked, the tone of their voice... I could see their houses, the rooms, the scenery. It was beautifully written.
The story is about Southern life in 1962, centering around the black maids and nannys - told in their voice and with their eyes - about working for white women in Jackson, Mississippi. It's awful and anxiety producing, yet the strength of these amazing women shines through. There is humor (because sometimes people must laugh vs. cry), there is love and there is hope. I found myself on the verge of tears more than once.
If you are looking for a great read, pick up this book and let me know what you thought.