For me, the most important thing about a book is THE STORY. This book has an EXCELLENT story, whether truly believable or a little idealistic (probably the latter - but hey, we would be a sad society if we couldn't be a little idealistic, right?). The bravery of so many of the characters is what stood out to me the most. Skeeter and Abileen the most, of course, but many of the other characters (whose names I can't recall at this moment, darn it). I, too, worry about seeing the movie and being disappointed, but I do think I'll take my daughter, a young African American girl who has NEVER experienced any kind of REAL prejudice in her life (a kid called her Brownie once in kindergarten, but he was busy calling other kids Fatty and Four-Eyes, so that's all you need to know about HIM) to see it - knowing what life was like for her predecessors will be beneficial, and the story is interesting enough that she will want to pay attention.
I think this is an excellent book club pick because there's so much to talk about - so I'm going to see some of the other threads and talk about it! I'd rate it 5/5, for sure!