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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 by Kathryn Stockett X
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2009, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2011, 528 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker
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Reviews

Page 7 of 7
There are currently 53 reader reviews for The Help
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Lisa

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.
Helen

Could have been so much better
I have no quarrel with the content of this book -- as a native Jacksonian, I can testify that much of it is sadly true. (And it is a welcome antidote to the romanticism of a Driving Miss Daisy. I once read an interview with Hoke's family -- they were completely surprised to learn of the warm, fuzzy relationship between Miss Daisy and Hoke. For all he had ever told them, it was just a job!) BUT this COULD have been an important book with just a bit of ambiguity. You only find characters as unrelievedly bad as Hilly in melodramas and soap operas. I guess I am just disappointed.
Mary

fun read- could use a bit more depth
I must agree with previous reviewers, the book is a page-turner and certainly was entertaining. I was, however, occasionally frustrated with the author's failure with small historic details from music to fashion that made the timeframe a lot fuzzier than I feel was her intention. I was very surprised that the editors didn't fact check and remove.

As a native southerner I did appreciate the author’s efforts toward portraying the complexity of racial, but feel that it fell slightly short of making either black or white characters more than flat caricatures. The characters all had the feel that they had been portrayed before. I had higher hopes for a revolutionary novel, but give it props as a good choice for a book club with readers who are more interested in social discussion than literary analysis.
Cynthia Finney

HIstorical accuracy lacking - bad dialogue
Anachronistic details distracted me and undermined my enjoyment of the story. (I would leap out of bed to find a pen to note down things like " Womens' pantsuits in 1962!!!" or "Typewriter ink!!!") I saw at the end the author acknowledged her error in the date of the Dylan song and Shake and Bake. And left them in the book. But mini skirts in 1963 - 64? Mary Quant invented them in 1965. Referring to people as hippies years before the Summer of Love? If you are going to use details to set the mood of an era, perhaps research is in order. People over 40 (like me) might read the book.
I found the dialogue, esp the "white" dialogue mostly stilted and unrealistic. Try some of it out loud and see how it sounds. Characters were one dimensional. All black people (except Minny's abusive husband) are good. All white people are bad. Why did Skeeter (shades of Scout - couldn't the author have been a bit more creative with the name?) develop a sensitivity to racism that others in her circle don't? Maybe because she isn't pretty or engaged? Only ugly girls are smart? This book made me realize I need to be more involved in choosing our next Book Club read.
E.J. DeQuincy

Civil Rights through a soap bubble
I am shocked that this book has become a best seller. I found it both intellectually and emotionally dishonest to the point of cringing. The author's voice of the black maids came across as hokey and patronizing. The "good" white character of Skeeter, weak and one dimensional. I find it astonishing this writer is being taken seriously as a major new talent. I didn't even find the book that readable after about the first fifty pages. Why would Minnie and Abilene agree to being interviewed by such a callow and opportunistic character as Skeeter was beyond belief. All the characters are so emotionally and politically naive it insults the reader's intelligence.

Beyond the Book:
  Medgar Evers

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