The Help, by: Kathryn Stockett- Book Clubs

Fairview Inn- The Perfect Spot for a Book Club
June 14, 2010 By: Megan Kendrick

You may be thinking about where your book club should have their next meeting to discuss details about the book you are reading. A novel that has become extremely popular is The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. In this fictitious story, Stockett tells a Mississippi tale of three amazing women whose drive to start a movement forever changes a town and the way women view each other. The Help is a story about the rules we abide by, and the ones that we don’t.
Recently, “More Than a Book Club” visited the Fairview Inn to discuss The Help. The book club, from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is a group of ladies who read certain novels and then do activities based upon the novel they have read. For example, when the group read Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes, they prepared a dinner based upon the book. From time to time the group will take road trips to locations that the novel they are reading is based upon. When starting The Help the group knew that this was a “road trip book.” So, they planned their stay in a place that is mentioned in the novel on p.148, the “Fairview mansion.”
Before packing up for their trip, “More Than a Book Club” did their research on the area that the novel was based on- Jackson and Belhaven. The group contacted Virgie Lindsey, head of the Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation, and she arranged for a local Author and an Architectural Historian to speak with the group. Todd Sanders, Architectural Historian, spoke with the group in the Governor’s Board Room of the Fairview Inn. With the group he discussed the architecture of the homes in Jackson in the 1960’s as it relates to The Help. The Fairview Inn, which was constructed in 1908, reflects the architecture of the early 1900’s and brings the novel to life. While in Jackson and at the Fairview, the group was able to envision the novel and see the setting first hand. The group explored much of what Jackson has to offer and made it a priority to visit Eudora Welty’s home, which is right down the street from the Fairview Inn. They were able to speak with local author, Patti Carr Black, who gave insight into being an Author in Mississippi.
The book club had an amazing trip and possibly even plan to come back to Jackson to see the premier of The Help, which will begin filming in Mississippi in the next couple of months. For more information on how your book club can have their next meeting at the historic “Fairview mansion,” please contact Events Coordinator, Amy Grace Warren, 601-948-3429 ext. 316 or

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