- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Format: Paperback | 464 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 30mm | 300g
- Publication date: 5 June 2010
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0141039280
- ISBN 13: 9780141039282
- Sales rank: 50
"The Help" is the phenomenal international bestseller (that inspired the Oscar nominated film) by Kathryn Stockett. Enter a vanished and unjust world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted not to steal the silver...There's Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son's tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from College, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared. Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they'd be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in a search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell..."The other side of "Gone with the Wind" - and just as unputdownable". ("The Sunday Times"). "A big, warm girlfriend of a book". ("The Times"). "Harper Lee's classic novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" has changed lives. Its direct descendent "The Help" has the same potential ...an astonishing feat of accomplishment". ("Daily Express"). Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter. "The Help" is her first novel.
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Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter. This is her first novel.
By barbara prendota 25 Jul 2011
I wasn't sure about this book. I like the theme and the cover, however knew nothing about the author. After having read the reviews in here and on Ebay however, I decided to give it a try.And thank goodness I did.
It's an amazing book with beautiful message.
A must read, for sure!
By Laura Williams 19 Jun 2011
This is the best book I've read in a long, long, LONG time. And that's coming from a girl who reads a lot. This incredible book is told in three separate and astoundingly clear first-person narrative voices.
The first voice belongs to Aibileen, a wise and godly black woman who is employed in a household where she is raising the child of her white employers. The little girl, Mae Mobley, is an adorable kid who seems damned to follow in the ignorant footsteps of her awful parents. That is, until Aibileen decides that she can save her; she can teach the child that black people ARE people. This is something that many of the white characters seem to have forgotten.
The novel is set in 1962, after Ms Parks decided she deserved to sit wherever she damn well pleased on that bus... but the white population of Mississippi begs to differ. Rosa parks might have convinced people that she was good enough to sit where she liked, but one of the key images of Stockett's text is that of lavatory segregation! The white housewife for whom Aibileen works has a separate toilet built so that they won't have to share a toilet! The idea that black people carry strange diseases is discussed and agreed upon by the cloistered, ignorant white housewives. This forced segregation is one of the catalysts for Aibileen's determination to make sure that little May Mobley doesn't grow up to be just like her mother.
Aibileen's is a calm voice, under which lies years of sadness, resentment, feelings of insignificance and above all, fear.
The second narrative voice is that of Minny. How I loved this woman! At first I thought that perhaps she was something of a stereotype: she's sassy, a great cook, proud, boisterous and she just can't keep a lid on her sarcasm. Her narrative cracked me up and saddened me at the same time. It's just so unfair that such a bright and vivid character sho be so subjugated by the brain-dead harem of ninnies who run the town. However, underneath all of that sass, Minny is a beaten wife with too many kids and an inability to hold down a job because of her smart mouth.
These white ladies are led by the vicious Miss Hilly, an antagonist who I thoroughly enjoyed hating. On the one hand, Miss Hilly is strong enough to be the queen of the stinging ants nest of white wives, so in that respect she's preferable to some of the snivelling "ladies" of the book. Still, I loved despising her.
The third narrative is that of Skeeter. She is a young, white college graduate who has achieved a lot for a woman of her time, but she has not achieved anything important, at least not as far as society is concerned: not as far as her mother is concerned. After all, there's no ring on her finger, is there? Skeeter's character provides a balance to the story, making it something more poignant somehow. The educated white woman is suddenly confronted with the understanding that not all is right in good ol' Mississippi. She feels trapped and this allows her to relate, if only just a little, with the black women of the town. I loved that she felt guilty about this sense of connection, knowing that she is still a privileged individual.
Instead of moping about her lot, Skeeter gets the idea to write down the stories of "The Help" of the town. The problem is, with the lynchings, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, talks of negro diseases, along with dozens and dozens of other more private horrors faced by the black women, they are too afraid to talk.
It's important to say that when the stories do start to spill out, not all of them are terrible. Plenty of the maids talk about the great kindnesses that their employers showed them. The book conveys the idea that the world in which it is set is a changing one. Not everyone is stuck in the terrible dark age of segregation or apartheid. White people aren't demonized and black people aren't deified. The villain of the text is ignorance and narrow-mindedness. The hero of the piece is the bravery of the women to break their silences and just try to make a difference.
This book is truly amazing. The only aspect which disappointed me is that it was written so recently. I wish it had been written fifty years ago because then it would truly reflect the idea of broken silences and bravery. As it stands, however, as an educated reflection on the past, it is a wonderful book. When I closed the last page, I instantly began to miss Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter. I hoped and prayed that Mae Mobley would turn out good. I even missed my animosities for Miss Hilly. I'll read this one over and over. You can pretty much guarantee that this is going to be on school curricula some day, being read alongside Rees, Morrison and Angelou.
If you want an extra special treat, I whole-heartedly suggest you listen to the audiobook. Stockett's voices are truly brought to life in this medium.
By Leana Fletcher 05 Apr 2011
Such a thought provoking book. It addressed blatant racism between different cultures giving the perspective of the racist and the persecuted, while at the same time, addressing discrimination from those within the persecuted person's own culture. It was easy to relate to the characters within the book and overall, I believe, the book gives you a real 'walk-in-their-shoes' type of experience. I would thoroughly recommend this book as a light, yet thought provoking read.
By Tracy Hudson 21 Mar 2011
I really enjoyed this book - it wasn't perfect, but then few books are perfect for everyone. What it did was to challenge my perceptions and take me back to the era the book was written in and how different (or not) things are now. It was certainly a tear jerker and I selected it as my ourbookclub pick of the month for March 2011.
Read my full www.ourbookclub.net.au review at http://www.ourbookclub.net.au/LiteratureAndFiction2011.php#the-help
By Lyn Emanuel 17 Mar 2011
The other side of Gone with the Wind - and just as unputdownable The Sunday Times A big, warm girlfriend of a book The Times Harper Lee's classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird has changed lives. It's direct descendent The Help has the same potential ... an astonishing feat of accomplishment Daily Express Outstanding, immensely funny, very compelling, brilliant Daily Telegraph Immensely readable Observer Daring, vitally important and very courageous, I loved and admired The Help. Fantastic -- Marian Keyes A laugh-out-loud, vociferously angry must-read Marie Claire Touching, disgraceful, funny. Highly recommended Daily Mail Utterly brilliant She Remarkable, shocking, brave, brilliant Easy Living Wonderfully engaging dialogue Good Housekeeping A compelling, great first novel, with soaring highs, poignant side stories and laugh-out-loud anecdotes. You'll be sorry to finish it Psychologies A winning story of courage and truth Woman & Home A brisk, involving read Metro An exciting and atmospheric story -- Rachel Cooke Observer Books of the Year A wise, poignant novel. You'll catch yourself cheering out loud People