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Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

Created: 10/21/10

Replies: 50

Posted Mar. 24, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 369

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Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

Overall, what was your opinion of "The Help"?


Posted Apr. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Laura

Join Date: 04/13/11

Posts: 18

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I loved "The Help". It is my favorite book of the last 15 years. It is in my top five all time favorites. I have recommended it to everyone that I know.


Posted Apr. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
louisej

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

"The Help" was my most favourite book that I read last year and my second favourite of all time. The writing was flawless and the descriptions of that era were right on. I was so enamoured with this book that each time I opened it to read another few chapters, I felt as though I had fallen through the pages and into the book. I was an invisible participant in the story and I wrapped myself around each and every word. I felt as thought I was walking through the homes, feeling the old furniture after it had been polished and in the kitchen I felt as though I could almost open the icebox and start preparing a sandwhich. It's not often that you feel so truly immersed in a story in every way possible but "The Help" was definitely that type of novel. I know that I didn't want it to end and hope that someday, Ms. Stockett will consider penning a sequel. This is also the type of book that has a story that's so rich, so poignant and so spellbinding that you want to read it again and again.


Posted Apr. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joannev

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 15

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I really loved "The Help" and thought it was wonderfully written. I also thought that the characters were so well developed and so believable that it added so much to the story. It is one of the best books I have read this year, although "Unbroken" and "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" follow closely. I do hope that Ms. Stockett writes a sequel and that the movie that is in the works is half as good.


Posted Apr. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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pennyn

Join Date: 10/21/10

Posts: 23

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

As I read The Help, it seemed so familiar. When it comes to rich vs. poor, color or the lack thereof, status vs. none, things are the same for everyone, everywhere. In Thailand it's the shade of brown you are and the slant of your eyes. In the USA when blacks drove away from their southern roots nothing much changed. As a friend said in the North the only difference was, we had to wear shoes to school. Another said, I was born in the North and when our family went "home" for the holidays to Mississippi we drove straight through from Chicago and back. I never knew why we stopped to "pee" in ditches, slept in the car, packed food enough for 6 kids and two parents and who ever else came along. I went to college and that's where I first heard about "Jim Crow". I, myself, listened to stories and asked a billion questions. I don't think I would have survived as "HELP" But I loved the story.


Penny
Posted Apr. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
camg

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I do a lot of reading, and have to say that I would count The Help as one of my favorite books of all time. I grew up in that time period, and from the North, and was so totally unaware of what life was like for those women who worked so hard without appreciation, kindness or understanding.


Posted Apr. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
roanh

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I read "The Help" when it first came out, so I don't remember some of the details. I do know that it was one of my very favorite books, in the same genre of "To Kill A Mockingbird." I grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, not too far from Jackson where Ms. Stockett lives. I think she drew a literary picture that was right on target for those times. I related to many of the situations, such as the separate toilet for "the help." I have read that this book was rejected 50 times before its final acceptance. If true, that would hard to understand, unless it was due to its "hot" topic.


Posted Apr. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
roanh

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I read "The Help" when it first came out, so I don't remember some of the details. I do know that it was one of my very favorite books, in the same genre of "To Kill A Mockingbird." I grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, not too far from Jackson where Ms. Stockett lives. I think she drew a literary picture that was right on target for those times. I related to many of the situations, such as the separate toilet for "the help." I have read that this book was rejected 50 times before its final acceptance. If true, that would hard to understand, unless it was due to its "hot" topic.


Posted Apr. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Ann

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

My Book Club in Australia has just had this book last month & all our members loved it. Loved the way it was written, the amazing storyline, the characters & how to life they all became.
We will all be very interested to see the movie when it comes here, does anyone know who will be acting the main roles?


Posted Apr. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
caryll

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

This was a wonderful book. The descriptions of the characters rang very true and clear. I felt as if I could picture certain characters - the reluctant, but willing, contributors, the lady who treated her help as slaves, the woman who desperately wanted to be part of the society. The depiction southern society at that time was also true. It is a very readable book in that the reader is caught up in the action easily. This made it hard to put down.

All in all, this is a book for all readers and is easily recommended.


Posted Apr. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Beth350

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 62

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RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I read it a year ago (January 2010) and absolutely loved it. In fact, I started re-reading it as soon as I finished it, which is very unusual for me. I thought that Stockett created a superb cast of characters who were well developed and both interesting and likeable. The fact that she is from the area she described gave it a realistic touch, although she claims it is all "fiction." I have recommended the book to many friends. On my personal score sheet, I ranked the book a 5+ out of 5.


Posted Apr. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 483

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RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

Hi Ann, you can see the cast list at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1454029/
Emma Stone plays Skeeter and Viola Davis plays Abileen.


Posted Apr. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jknapp

Join Date: 04/11/11

Posts: 37

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I have recommended this book to both my sister and my daughter-in-law. I grew up in the South in the 50's and 60's. This story made me think about all the misconceptions I was taught about people of other races and religions. There were many times when I literally cringed reading some of the interactions between the black maids and their white employers. I know that the author is from the South and a few of the reviews of the book criticized her depiction of the relationship between the main character and her maid as being stereotypical. I just thought they seem to care about each other despite the times in which they were living


Posted Apr. 16, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dorothyt

Join Date: 04/10/11

Posts: 102

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RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I really enjoyed this book: it's well-written, the characters seem true, and as goes that old cliche, it's hard to put down (I don't know who first said that or about what book, but it certainly is useful). As evidenced here, it gives the readers a lot to think about and discuss.


Posted Apr. 17, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 80

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RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I read a lot of Southern Fiction (I live in NC) and read the help when it first came out. I loved the book and have recommended it to everyone.

I am not sure if I'll see the movie when it comes out. Books are almost always better than the movie and I like the way I have the characters pictured in my mind.


Posted Apr. 17, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
christinek

Join Date: 04/17/11

Posts: 5

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I had worked for the NAACP on the East Coast as a teacher in the 60's----this book was wonderful!!! I read it when it first appeared, loved it as it's characters were so very real and the time area so well described. But it also showed human nature so very well! My book club will be reading and discussing The Help this year as it is now out in paperback and I can't wait!


Posted Apr. 18, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janzr

Join Date: 04/18/11

Posts: 21

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

On a 1 to 5 scale it was probably a low 3. Interesting, a topic not usually covered and pretty well written. I thought it was also somewhat "overdone" in some ways.


Posted Apr. 20, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 63

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RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

Having lived in New Orleans from 1963 until 1973, I found the book most interesting. I also taught for 2 years in an inner city public high school in the city whose pupils mainly came from 3 high rise public housing units. I found "The Help" to be probably accurate as to the feelings/actions of the main characters, although the young white women didn't ring as true to me as the Black women did. Somehow, to me at least, the speech patterns didn't ring true. But, that aside, I did find much food for thought in the book and an impetus to reflect upon my time in a culture very different from what I knew/know in the Pacific NW, my home both before and after my time in New Orleans.


Posted Apr. 21, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joanw

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 12

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I thought this was an exceptional book. So true of the times and maybe still true to a point. I feel sure that that is the way it was back then. You had to feel sorry for The Help. I have recommended this book to many.


Posted Apr. 21, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
vickys

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 10

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I really enjoyed this book. I read it for a book club and since there was a variety of characters we had some intereting discussions about the situations and choices.


Posted Apr. 22, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
vivianz

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

It was one of my favorite books. Fascinating to read about the South (I was born in PA) and angered at the way the people were treated by the whites. Does not reflect well on the people of this country that such mistreatment was allowed to happen over such a long period of time.


Posted Apr. 22, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
soosid

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I share everyone's view that it was an exceptionally well-written book and that it is one of my all-time favorites. I had the opportunity to listen to it read in Southern dialect which made it an even richer experience. I live in Hong Kong and I could not help but think about our culture of using "domestic helpers" to do much of what was done by these ladies in the 1960's and earlier in the South. I think there are many parallels to the lives of the 250,000 Indonesian and Filippina women who are raising the many children of western expats while they are off playing tennis, shopping at H and M or Marks and Spencer, or having 'high tea' at the Peninsula. They live in closet spaces, receive less than half of the current minimum wage of $3.50 USD, and work six days a week 12-14 hours a day. I am sure they share the range of feelings expressed by the women in this book and that the children raised by these women love them dearly and rely on them for nurturing and continuity in their lives. I look forward to whatever this author writes in the future.


Posted Apr. 25, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dorianbc

Join Date: 04/25/11

Posts: 15

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I really loved this book, and as many here have said it is often one of the first books I think of when suggesting a book to a friend. I find that it has universal appeal, often liked by readers that might not normally agree on their favorite type of book. It is a real testimony to the writer and to the topic that it is also read and loved around the world.


Posted Apr. 28, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Lisanne

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I felt pretty let down by it. I felt the entire story was building up to some huge catastrophic event, but in the end it just sort of . . . fizzled out. It will be interesting to see if the film version will have something, *anything* happen to make the reader feel justified for slogging through all that!


Posted Apr. 28, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bookdogs

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I read The Help several months ago but "after" a lot of others I knew had read it....I think with all the hype, I was a tad underwhelmed....I enjoyed the book (and it was well written) but it didn't leave the impact on me that say, "The Glass Castle" or "The Tender Bar" left on me. I am from Georgia and old enough to remember that we had "help" when I was young, but not to the degree of the ladies in this book. I think the portrayal of the characters was "right on the mark" though and the book was well worth reading....just not in my top ten.


Posted Apr. 28, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cjdeboer

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I did not know what to expect when I started reading this book. I needed to read it for a book club I belong to. I also work at a public library and had heard many of our patrons comment on the book that it was very good, they had enjoyed it, or you've got to read this book. So it was on my list but I just hadn't gotten around to it yet. I finished it last week in preperation for tonight's discussion and wow they were right. I felt like such a part of the book. It was interesting hearing the book from more than just one persons voice. I actually listened to the book from audible.com and they used several readers. It was a very enjoyable listen. I see that the movie is expected out this summer and I will for sure go to see it. I am recommending this book to everyone looking for a good read!


Posted Apr. 28, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jknapp

Join Date: 04/11/11

Posts: 37

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I read this book this year after discovering it on Amazon. I really enjoyed the book. The characters seemed very real to me. I grew up in the same era of the book and really felt compelled to read it. I thought the author portrayed the culture of the time period accurately. I especially enjoyed the characters and the book certainly held my attention. I have recommended to many of my friends and family. I would love to see more from this author.


Posted Apr. 28, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sherylr

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

My book club (Southern Louisiana women, both black and white) read this book months ago, shortly after it was published and unanimously gave it a thumbs down. We did not understand what all the awards and kudos were about. We found it offensive to Southern women, both African American and white, and thought it was simplistic and poorly written. We felt that the author had violated that cardinal rule of writing: Write what you know (or at least do your research!) A number of us who had grown up in the South in the 50s and had worked or lived in homes with "help" felt it failed to capture the complexity and depth of the relationships between the races that that time gave rise to. We felt the author missed a golden opportunity to examine the era from the perspective of those relationships in a real way and instead resorted to stereotypical, one-dimensional characters. Because of the composition of our group, we wished she had interviewed us before she wrote the book: now, we had some stories to tell! Not without prejudice ourselves, we attributed the book's popularity to the ever-present media view that our Southern culture can be easily explained, negatively portrayed, and exploited for profit by those who know nothing about us at all (and don't really care to find out!) It makes those "Yankees" feel like they understand us when they haven't got a clue!!


Posted Apr. 28, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Ann

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

Now that reply from Sherylr should bring lots of discussion, I thought kathryn Stockett did come from the south & knew what she was talking about!!! Most interesting.


Posted Apr. 28, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kateg

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 22

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

This was my favorite bookof 2009! I though the author beautifully captured the life and times of the South that she was writing about. I recommended it to many of my friends and I still think about the themes of race and class which were soe well portrayed.


Posted May. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
edithr

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I completely agree with Sherylr. I thought the book was much less, than mediocre. Badly written, the story completely unbelievable. I'm always hesitant to read an immensely popular book - and I'm almost always right. There are a few exceptions, The Help was not one of them. Same for the Water for Elephants. That movie was outright awful, and I am not interested at all in The Help's movie version.


Posted May. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
pennyn's Gravatar
pennyn

Join Date: 10/21/10

Posts: 23

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I read many books. Book clubs are for discussion nothing more. If I don't like a book I say so and don't finish it. Tho, with a book like this I would have finished just to join the discussion. I felt the story rang true In many parts of the world people are separated in groups such the "Haves" and the "Have Nots". Other countries/places divide in other ways - religion, race, sex, skin color, area, job, language, worth, education, good hair vs. bad hair, lightness of skin color, eye folds etc. Something tells me we all need to remember how it REALLY was in the 50s and 60s and watch the well done, 2 hour, PBS documentary American Experience called Freedom Riders on Monday May 16. I'm guessing there are many in the South that still don't understand why there were freedom riders at all. Sadly people in the US are still treated this way...take a look at the Nanny problem.


Penny
Posted May. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
chetyarbrough.com

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 14

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I just finished listening and plan to write a review of "The Help" on my blog.

The audio book version of "The Help" is a thrilling and emotional journey. Unquestionably, a classic that will make listener's weep in years to come. One cannot help feeling the heart rending ambivalence this story tells of living as a black maid or growing up as a white child in Mississippi in the 60s.

Two people of any color are clearly shown to be the same. We are all human; we are all good and bad. It is sad to know that this lesson is still being learned in 2011.


Posted May. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
gigik

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 11

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

My husband reads aloud each afternoon when we take a break and have a snack. It was well written and the characters were well developed. However, it was very emotional for both of us and we could not read it very long before we had to take a break . This was because it broke our hearts to be so reminded how poorly people treat each other based on outward differences. I don't think I could sit through the movie for this reason.


Posted May. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
chetyarbrough.com

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 14

RE: Overall, what did you think of "The Help"?

I finished listening to "The Help" earlier this week. I will review it in my blog next month. As can be seen by an overwhelming majority of these comments, Ms. Stockett is a star.

Two people of different color, like all people, are bound by human nature. There is good and bad in every race, every religion, every creed. Ms. Stockett is not attacking the south. She is from the south. We are all from somewhere that is not perfect.

This book is about every person that belives in the equality of human life. "The Help" is about Hilly and Skeeter, two people raised in the same culture with one having a clearer perception of reality than the other. History makes liars of us all. Human nature is the only thing that remains true; remains honest.


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