The Help

The Help

4.46 (2,446,047 ratings by Goodreads)
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The #1 New York Times bestselling novel and basis for the Academy Award-winning film--a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't--nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.

Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure.

Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town...
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Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 157 x 236 x 36mm | 646g
  • G P Putnam's Sons
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0399155341
  • 9780399155345
  • 31,600

Review quote

Praise for The Help

"The two principal maid characters...leap off the page in all their warm, three dimensional glory...[A] winning novel."--The New York Times

"This could be one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mockingbird...If you read only one book...let this be it."

"Wise, poignant...You'll catch yourself cheering out loud."--People

"Graceful and real, a compulsively readable story."--Entertainment Weekly

"A beautiful portrait of a fragmenting world."--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"The must-read choice of every book club in the country."--The Huffington Post

"At turns hilarious and heart-warming."--Associated Press

"In a page-turner that brings new resonance to the moral issues involved, Stockett spins a story of a social awakening as seen from both sides of the American racial divide."--The Washington Post
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About Kathryn Stockett

Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and creative writing, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for sixteen years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter.
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Rating details

2,446,047 ratings
4.46 out of 5 stars
5 60% (1,474,803)
4 29% (710,691)
3 8% (201,369)
2 2% (40,153)
1 1% (19,031)

Our customer reviews

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 more
by Marianne Vincent
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!!!show more
by Ms M
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 more
by Elena
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