Limited and persecuted by racial divides in 1962 Jackson, Miss., three women — an African-American maid, her sassy and chronically unemployed friend (also a maid) and a recently graduated white woman — team up for a clandestine project.
In fiction, John le Carre takes a cold look at the Russian mafia state, while Isabel Allende and Andrea Levy explore the contradictions of slavery, and Katherine Stockett probes 1960s Southern racial politics. In nonfiction, Ethan Watters decries the export of U.S. mental health treatments.
Author Kathryn Stockett explores racial tensions in the Deep South from three different perspectives in her novel The Help. Karen Grigsby Bates says if you read one book this summer, this should be it.