It was Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted not to steal the silver. Some lines will never be crossed. Aibileen is a black maid: smart, regal, and raising her seventeenth white child. Yet something shifted inside Aibileen the day her own son died while his bosses looked the other way. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is by some way the sassiest woman in Mississippi. But even her extraordinary cooking won't protect Minny from the consequences of her tongue. Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter returns home with a degree and a head full of hope, but her mother will not be happy until there's a ring on her finger. Seeking solace with Constantine, the beloved maid who raised her, Skeeter finds she has gone. But why will no one tell her where? Seemingly as different as can be, Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny's lives converge over a clandestine project that will not only put them all at risk but also change the town of Jackson for ever. But why? And for what? "The Help" is a deeply moving, timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we won't. Itis about how women, whether mothers or daughters, the help or the boss, relate to each other - and that terrible feeling that those who look after your children may understand them, even love them, better than you.
- Paperback | 464 pages
- 111 x 181 x 28mm | 251g
- 14 May 2010
- Penguin Books Ltd
- London, United Kingdom
- Media tie-in
- Open Market ed
About Kathryn Stockett
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.
Our customer reviews
This was a brilliant first novel,with well-drawn rounded characters.All thewomen were victims in some way but the author allowed you to reach your own conclusions.Sadly such racism still exists.I am sorr I have retired from teaching as I would like to have taught this novel in conjunction with "To Kill A Mockingbird" The characters of both novels remain with one for a long time.See the film it too is excellentshow moreby Paris Le Lean
My idea to start my book blog came to life while reading The Help. I loved it so much I wanted to share it with others and so The Reading Experiment was born. The Help tells the story of an unlikely friendship between two black women and one white woman - Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter - living in 1960s southern America. It explores the treatment of black maids working for white families at a time when the African American civil rights movement was gathering pace in other parts of America but had not yet reached Jackson, Mississippi. It's a brave undertaking for a white author who was raised in a household similar to those she writes about. Kathryn Stockett puts herself in the shoes of the three central characters who take turns in narrating the story. She creates vivid characters who come to life on the page. It's easy to love Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter, each with their own voice so distinct that we scarcely have to be told as the story moves between them. So too Celia Foote, the Marilyn Monroe-esque newcomer to town who faces her own form of discrimination. Then there's the evil Miss Hilly and her ability to strike fear into the hearts of the women of Jackson - both black and white. Stockett has written her book with care, sensitivity and empathy, rounding it off with a sprinkling of humour. Just what is the "terrible awful" that Minny is so worried about? You can read more of my book recommendations at www.thereadingexperiment.comshow moreby Louise Marsh
A fantastic read, one of those books that will stay with me long after. Told from three characters points of view (two black maids and one young white woman), and set in the 70's in Mississippi, this is a confronting and clever novel that is definitely food for thought. Glad I have recently read To Kill A Mockingbird, too, because of the similarities, and references throughout The Help. For a first novel, Kathryn Stockett gets five stars from me. I would also recommend reading the Appendix to know of what motivated Stockett to write The Help.show moreby Wendy SEKULOFF