Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileens best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobodys business, but she cant mind her tongue, so shes lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.
The Help is a beautiful novel, and Kathryn Stockett is a natural storyteller with her finger on the pulse of the human condition. Her characters, their stories, and the complex questions they raise will linger deep in your mind long after you’re done reading. (Reviewed by Sarah Sacha Dollacker).
New York Times - Janet Maslin
Here is a debut novel by a Southern-born white author who renders black maids’ voices in thick, dated dialect... [an] ultimately soft-pedaled version of Southern women’s lives... a problematic but ultimately winning novel.
This heartbreaking story is a stunning debut from a gifted talent.
The Washington Post
[A] nuanced variation on [a familiar] theme that strikes every note with authenticity. In a page-turner that brings new resonance to the moral issues involved, [Stockett] spins a story of social awakening as seen from both sides of the American racial divide.
Starred Review. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.
Starred Review. Is this an easy book to read? No, but it is surely worth reading.
Jill Conner Browne
I love The Help. Kathryn Stockett has given us glorious characters and a powerful, truth-filled story. Abilene, Minny and Skeeter, show that people from this troubled time came together despite their differences and that ordinary women can be heroic.
Robert Hicks, author of The Widow of the South
A magical novel. Heartbreaking and oh so true, the voices of these characters, their lives and struggles, will stay with you long after you reluctantly come to the end.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Lee Interesting book I think this book is very interesting because we can compare the book with today's time.
Rated of 5
by Cloggie Downunder a wonderful moving tale The Help is the first novel by Kathryn Stockett. Set in the early sixties in Jackson, Mississippi, the story is narrated in three voices: two black maids (“help”) and a young white woman. Aibileen Clark is a wise Negro woman who has raised 17 white... Read More
Rated of 5
by Rebecca Hersh Christianity in "The Help" What does everybody think about the anti-Christian message subtly woven throughout the book? Hilly, the villain, remarks to Skeeter, the heroine, "And you call yourself a Christian!" (p.407) among numerous other similar interactions,... Read More
Rated of 5
by Kate Awesome! Wonderful! A wonderful great book! So enjoying and learning!
Rated of 5
by Tiffany A Moving First Novel This book is one that will not disappoint. Although it may seem like it is "cliche" or "dull", it is not. The wonderful first novel is truly moving. Not only did it open they eyes of a book hater (as in someone who has not read... Read More
Rated of 5
by Jasmin Cerda A great story that could have been GREATER The only criticism I have is that the story does not focus enough on each character's deep personal troubles such as those of Miss Celia, Minny, Ms. Skeeter, and Aibileen. I would've loved to read more about who they are so I could fall deeper in... Read More
As Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny begin their project, the Civil Rights Movement is boiling to high heat. It is 1963 and President Kennedy has just spoken out in support of Civil Rights; however, the message has yet to penetrate Mississippi where Medgar Evers was just brutally murdered by segregationist whites. This example of racial violence gives Aibileen and Minny pause as they consider the repercussions of what they are doing with Skeeter, but they decide to forge ahead because things need to change.
Medgar Evers's murder resounded across the country and was seen as an example of racial injustice and violence in the Deep South. Evers had been a civil rights activist for much of his life. After fighting in World War II, he was honorably discharged as a sergeant and returned home to Mississippi in 1945. While registering to vote in a local election, intimidation by whites...
'Though I've read countless novels, I had never read one like this ... told in a chorus of completely unexpected voices, as befits the first novel from a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter' - Washington Post.
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