The Help a novel, Kathryn Stockett
Twenty two year old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like no body's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
In pitch perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, care givers, friends view one another.
I'll never forget this wonderful book.
Detectives Don't Wear Seat Belts, True Adventures of a Female P.I., Cici McNair
Growing up in Mississippi, Cici McNair was always more the tomboy her mother supported than the southern belle her father demanded. She escaped her suffocating upbringing the first chance she had to travel the world. Whether working at the Vatican in Rome or consorting with a gunrunner in Haiti, she lived a life of international adventure. When Cici finds herself in New York, divorced, broke and fashionably starving to death in a Madison Avenue apartment, she impulsively decides to become a private detective.
But, as Cici soon learns, the world of P.I.s is tight knit and made up almost exclusively of former law enforcement officers. By nature, they are a highly suspicious group and are especially wary of a newcomer with an untraceable past. Diligently working her way through the yellow pages, doggedly pursuing the slightest lead, Cici is finally hired by a private investigator willing to take a chance. The next day, she's working side by side with a pair of seasoned detectives and a skip tracer who is scary to most but like silk on the phone. She quickly realizes she'll need all her energy and wits to succeed in this new world.
Being a private investigator is as exciting and liberating as Cici ever dreamed, from creating a false identity on the spot on her first case in the field to surviving adrenaline rushing car chases. Working with law enforcement, she goes undercover, dealing with the ruthless born to kill gang in Chinatown and the Middle Eastern counterfeiters west of Broadway. A detailed account of the hidden world and real life cases of a P.I., this action packed memoir is as entertaining as any detective novel you'll ever read.
The Whale, In Search of The Giants of The Sea, Phillip Hoare
From his childhood fascination with the gigantic Natural History Museum model of a blue whale to his adult encounters with the living animals in the Atlantic Ocean, the acclaimed writer Phillip Hoare has been obsessed with whales. Journeying through human and natural history, The Whale is the result of his voyage of discovery into the heart of this obsession and the book that inspired it: Herman Melville's Moby Dick.
Taking us deep into their domain, Hoare shows us these mysterious creatures as they have never been seen before, and to explain why these strange and beautiful animals still exert such a powerful hold on our imaginations.
See you at Rylander!