The Help (Hardback)
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Short Description for The Help In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women--black and white, mothers and daughters--view one another.
- Published: 10 February 2009
- Format: Hardback 451 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780399155345 ISBN 10: 0399155341
- Sales rank: 11,493
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Reviews for The Help
- Top review
a wonderful, moving story
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 children, and lost a son of her own. She works for Elizabeth and Raleigh Leefolt and derives great joy from their Baby Girl, Mae Mobley, although she is under no illusion that this will last. Minny Jackson is a sassy young Negro with a talent for cooking who has trouble keeping her opinions to herself, a trait that has seen her fired from a great many positions. Her latest job is for newcomers, Celia and Johnny Foote, whom she hopes won't hear of her reputation; Celia, though, is too busy keeping her own secrets. Eugenia (Skeeter) Phelan has just graduated from college, where her Mama hoped she would find a husband, but Skeeter wants to be a writer much more than a wife. She misses her beloved Negro maid, Constantine, who has disappeared and no one will tell her where. When Skeeter's writing ambition crystallises into a book about the experiences of black maids in white households, Aibileen and Minny decide to become involved despite the enormous risk.
This novel touches on many topics, including racial segregation and civil rights and the relationship between Negro employees and their white employers. The feel of the sixties is beautifully evoked with the inclusion of many icons like the Pill, Valium, space exploration, ring pull cans, the Vietnam war, the introduction of Zip codes and sex before marriage. The characters are multifaceted and the dialogue is pitch-perfect. There is humour and heartache, cruelty and kindness, romance and suspense. We learn that revenge is sweet, especially in the form of Minny's Chocolate Pie. The prose is, on occasions, luminous: "If chocolate was a sound, it would've been Constantine's voice singing." The ultimate lesson is that the lines between black and white, between quality and trash, between employer and employee are not as definite as they might at first seem. And, as Aibileen says" Kindness don't have no boundaries". One of the dangers of reading a novel with so much hype is the very real possibility that the reader's expectations will be too high, and disappointment follows; the exception is, of course, when the novel lives up to the hype, as this one assuredly does. I loved this wonderful, moving story. by Marianne Vincent
by Lyn Emanuel
A definite MUST Read!
I stumbled upon this book whilst browsing in my local secondhand bookshop. From the moment I read the first page, I could not put it down. Kathryn created such believable characters that took me through a journey of love, friendship and forgiveness. Even though its placed in the contemporary fiction genre - the facts and history surrounding it were/are real and true. A very emotionally charged and relevant book of the times. I agree that this book hasn't recieved the literally acclaim that it so deserves and I keep goggling Kathryn to find out if she is working on another book - if not at least a sequel to this fabulous one. Love it and highly recommend it. This definately one for the bookshelf - one to be re-read 10 years from now!!! by Ms M
Pages full of important issues, well-built characters and hope.
Set in the 1950's in Jackson, Mississippi, The Help deals with the lives of three very different women at a time when changes were threatening the "old values" people thought, ruled the world. However, Jackson does not seem able to change as the African-American help keeps raising most white children while, ironically, are despised by their employers for the colour of their skin.
With such a terrible background, Kathryn Stockett develops three main and very well- built characters, three strong and indepedent women, that will try to change their little town while they face all kind of feelings from their neighbours.
In my opinion, this is a great book, the first one that made me cry, that deserves more attention from both the general public and the critics. Not only deals with a very important issue of the American history (with constant references to Martin L. King and President Kennedy) but it also reminds the reader of the importance our will to change things no matter if a whole town thinks us wrong. by Elena