Last week I finished THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett (published by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam). In a word: brilliant.
Before I started reading, I worried it would be too political, too moralistic, too sweet, too upsetting, too patronising to the reader. Nothing of the sort. The voices are realistic, the characters worthy of knowing, the message poignant without resorting to saccharine or gall.