Reviewed by Jayne, Blackfen Community Library member.

This book has been on my bookshelf for years and I’d never got around to reading it. I’m not a big novel reader, I prefer non-fiction. However, a global pandemic seemed like a great time to sate my curiosity about a book which has become very popular – selling seven million copies worldwide and made into a critically acclaimed film.

The story is set in 1960’s Mississippi, USA, focusing on the interweaved and yet completely separate lives of three women. Two of the women are middle-aged black African American domestic workers, while one is a young white girl; the daughter of a cotton farmer and moves in the upper echelons of society. The book follows the women and their communities as racial tensions come to the surface. The women embark on a dangerous project which leads them to an improbable, brief friendship which changes the course of their lives. The book features many uncomfortable, offensive situations but there are also moments of beauty and hope.