Reader reviews and comments on The Help, plus links to write your own review.

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The Help

By Kathryn Stockett

The Help
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Feb 2009,
    464 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2011,
    528 pages.

    Publication Information

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

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Reviews

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There are currently 53 reader reviews for The Help
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Tracey (10/06/10)

The Help
Loved this book. So glad they are making a movie of this book. I can't wait to see it. I only wished for a little more closure at the end of the book.
Arlene (09/19/10)

Loved it
I couldn't put it down and when I wasn't reading, I was wondering where she was going with the story. I loved the fact that it jumped from one person to another and gave their stories. Was some what disappointed because you don't know how things worked out. Like---Where was the one maid's daughter? I thought it might turn out to be Miss Skeeter and did the maids keep their jobs with their white employers. Will there be another book to answer these questions, I sure hope so. Will gladly buy it!!! Good writing.
Iris Allen (09/09/10)

Inconsistencies in The Help
I haven't finished the book yet (for me it is not a page turner), and am trying to find a reason to keep reading it. So far the most remarkable thing I see is the inconsistencies in character, language and plot. Why, in her letters to Skeeter at college, would a woman (Constantine) who utters such illiteracies as "Is you?" and "Which one he?" use such proper grammar as the cat ran off "and I haven't seen her since"? She probably would have written "and I ain't seen her since." Also, if Constantine's father is a white man, why is Constantine, who would by definition be a mulatto, be so black? How can a baby be talking in complete sentences before she is potty trained, and how can she be trained in one day? Give me a break. I guess if I keep reading I will learn how Celia from Sugar Ditch (please!) snagged a rich man. I am a former English teacher who has read and taught some of the greatest literature in the English language, so maybe I'm being too harsh .
Jean J (08/29/10)

The Help
I'm one to read a book in 2-3 days with a full-time job and a family of 5. It took me at least 3 months to read this. I found I only finished it because I lead a book club and we are meeting today. "The Help" is probably an amazing book to those that would not "be the Help". Growing up in Tyler, TX, I just missed being that person by a few years. I was born in 1960. I remember what it was like to hide from the Klan under my 3rd grade desk because we "should be in school with white kids". And to see my mom's face as we were turned away or talked bad to. And, amazing enough, my mom was "light-skinned". My grandfather was white. So, The Help is a great book if you were hiring the Help, not if you're the Help.
Ann (08/23/10)

A must read!
Despite some of the other reviews, I did not find this book to be quite so ... "flat." In fact, just the opposite! I could relate to many of the relationships and I especially liked how well the lives were woven together. The racial tensions were well written without being too in-depth. Coming from a town with mild racial tension even today, I could relate somewhat to the unease.
Hilly reminded me of some of the girls I went to school with -- seemingly sweet but with an indescribable power over people and mean as a rattlesnake when provoked (whether intentional or not).
The unfolding of the tale of Skeeter's mama brought tears to my eyes as I recalled a nearly identical part of my own life.
In all, the story was well written. I could hardly put it down! Just enough was left to the imagination and just enough artistic license were present to keep the story flowing smoothly to the end. I hope there will be many books to come from this author!
Jen (08/01/10)

Amazing fiction with just enough reality to be inspirational
Not since "The Red Tent," have I read a book that I couldn't put down. I run the oral history center at LSU, and oral histories about the south are literally my life. Ms. Stockett has done a remarkable job capturing various voices and weaving a three dimensional story throughout very dangerous territory. And by dangerous territory, I'm not only referring to the violence of the civil rights era. I'm also referring to her ability to represent various dialects without crossing the lines into insulting stereotyping. And I think she does this well.

Having been the awkward and sometimes accidentally naive and paternalistic "white girl" interviewing African-Americans here in the south about Civil Rights, I can relate to Skeeter. And I am thrilled to see that Ms. Stockett acknowledges the field of oral history, in particular Susan Tucker who wrote "Telling Memories Among Southern Women."

I also enjoy reading some of the critiques of Stockett's work, mainly because I haven't seen one really compelling critique yet. Are there some anachronisms? Sure, but hey, it was fiction, and it worked for me anyway... [edited to remove plot spoiler].

Overall, this is an amazing fictional read that contains just enough reality to be inspirational. My mom suggested it to me. And I'm giving it to all my friends. Read this book. Even if you've never worked or lived in the south, it's still such a wonderful adventure into the age-old warning: never to judge a book (or person or group of people) by the cover.
Linda (07/30/10)

'The Help' --Recommended Reading
I could not put this book down...Ms. Stockett perfectly captured the era and racial tensions of the 1960's. This is a story which needs telling and re-telling to each generation. The experiences of women in service and their struggle for equality have found a voice in The Help.
I was raised by a Southern father who came to live in the North after WWII. He never passed on any prejudices, but rather commented on the honest and hardworking people of color that he encountered in his Southern community, and later WWII, and in the workplace. Dad was respectful and appreciative of anyone's capabilities, regardless of skin color. This trait was passed to me; I, in turn, have tried to teach my own children and grandchildren about the past. This is a good book for your home library.
Lisa (05/22/10)

Shallow Reading
If you are looking for a quick read without too much depth and just skims the surface of racial issues then this is a good book. In my opinion, it reads too much like a Nora Roberts soap opera. After finishing the book, I wasn't surprised to read that the author was raised by a maid and still lives in the South.

Beyond the Book:
  Medgar Evers

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