1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  2. The Help Reader’s Guide
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - review
  4. The Help Reader’s Guide

The Help is a novel by American author Kathryn Stockett. The story is about African . and even brutal. The book, entitled "Help" is finally published, and the final chapters of "The Help" describes the aftermath of the book's success. The Help book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary . 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 .

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The Help Book

Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women. Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree. Sign me up to get more news about Literary Fiction books. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and. his own book, bout being a colored man living and working in Mississippi. Law, that made me proud. But one night he working late at the Scanlon-Taylor.

The book is narrated by three very different women; Minny, a black maid unable to keep a job due to her hot head, Aibileen, another black maid who is raising her 'seventeenth white child', and Miss Skeeter, at the opposite end of the spectrum, a white woman who wants to be a writer. She has been brought up by black maids since she was young, and longs to find out why her much-loved maid, Constantine, has disappeared. The help are the black community who spend their lives bringing up the children of upper-class white families. With their own children being looked after by someone else, the help spend their days feeding, dressing and playing with the children they are employed to look after, only to see them grow up and turn out like the rest of the white community, discriminating against the people who have raised them. Aibileen dedicates all her working time to Miss Elizabeth Leefolt's child, Mae Mobley, whilst trying to heal the scars left by her own son's death. Minny finally manages to find a new job working for Miss Celia Foote, who, luckily for Minny, is too new to the town to know anything about her. Aibileen and Minny have their own problems at home, as well as those surrounding their work for the white families. Miss Skeeter is finally given her big break when she gets the chance to get her work published. However, she needs to find something interesting that people will want to read.

Its direct descendent The Help has the same potential. Review quote Lush, original and poignant. A wondrous novel set in the deep south told through the authentic voices of Aibileen, Minnie and Skeeter, three unforgettable women whose lives and points of view intersect vividly against a landscape of hopeful change in America.

You will be swept away as they work, play and love during a time when possibilities for women were few but their dreams of the future were limitless. A glorious read. It's direct descendent The Help has the same potential. 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. Rating details. Our customer reviews I was on the waiting list for this book for almost 6 months. When it came through, I have to admit that I thought I might not like it.

And if I would have based my review on the first 30 or 40 pages, I would have let it go. I just couldn't connect with the story. I really struggled with dialect of the black servants.

And I felt like I was thrown into the middle of the story with no background. Around page 50, the character of Minny finally got my attention. I was genuinely interested in what happened to her. And then the very next chapter was Skeeter, the white woman who does so much good in the book.

I can only hope that if I lived back then, I would have been as brave as she was. She did not back down, and she was willing to do whatever it took to change things.

There were some classic moments in this book that really drew me in--I am still talking about one interesting little pie recipe in the book. And not all things in the book happen like you think they should. There are moments that will outrage you and probably even cause you to cry. I enjoy the way the author wrote the book. She writes from the perspective of three people, I think. And you can tell that the author knows much of what she is talking about. And her note in the back of the book confirms this.

She grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and the author herself had a black servant. If you would have asked me last week about my rating of the book, I would have given it four stars. I give it five because once I got into it, I really didn't like to put it down. The author knows just when to switch over to a different perspective, and the reader has to wait to see what happens in that situation a few chapters later.

No sex is in the book--I like that. There is some bad language, but the concept of true Christian faith is also in the book. The women are strong, and the blacks are so willing to stand up for their rights in spite of the consequences.

In fact, some of them see it as a chance to have a fresh start. If you enjoy historical fiction, this book would suit you. If you have strong feelings about civil right and equal rights for women, you would like the views of this book.

If you like a good romance, sorry, this book really doesn't have that. It is definitely one that will stick with you! The novel is written from the personal point of view of two black maids- Abileen and Minny and a white and emancipated young woman Skeeter Phelan which takes a revolutionary decision to write down the real life stories of black maids.

These three persons are shown as contemporary heroines which put human and specially women rights in the 60th in question and show what an amount of courage is needed to attack if not change the fixed ideas on social differences in a small provincial town of Mississipi.

The novel wants to be optimistic and funny so it leaves out a more profound analysis of social background and causes for white predominance and insists on hope that time can improve the relationships between the two classes.

I took her for granted. Even though she was paid to love us, I know she did. We were her children, especially my youngest brothers.

And yet when she moved back home, we lost contact. Was it out of laziness of our own narcissistic lives or was the complexity of our relationship so draining she cut the tie? It is my fear that she thinks we did not return her affection and only thought of her as the maid. I often think about her, we all reminisce about her wondering where she is, and more than anything, I just want to know that she is happy and tell her thank you.

It is so strange that someone who is such a vital part of your childhood can just vanish out of your life. You only get one in a lifetime. Believe me, I know. The story is strong and real and touched something deep inside me. I could so relate to the motherly love from Constantine to Skeeter, see that pain in the triangle between Aibileen and Mae Mobley and Elizabeth, feel the exasperation of Minny toward Celia, and understand the complexity of the good and bad, the love and hate, the fear and security.

Stockett captured all these emotions. I also loved the writing style. When style compliments plot, I get giddy. I don't always love grammatically incorrect prose or books about an author trying to be published, but here it works because it's honest. The novel is about a white woman secretly compiling true accounts of black maids--and the novel is in essence a white author trying to understand black maids.

The styles parallel each other as do the messages.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The point of Skeeter's novel is to make people see that people are just people no matter the color of their skin and Stockett's novel beautifully portrays that with both good and bad on both sides. The fictional novel cover is decorated with the white dove of love and understanding.

To get us there, Stockett gives us three ordinary birds, a picture of ordinary life asking to be accepted for its honest simplicity. This book is Stockett's masterpiece, that story in her that was just itching to get out.

From the first page, the voice of the characters took vivid form and became real, breathing people. I loved Aibileen, but think I loved Minny's voice more because she is such a strong character. Besides the maids, I loved Hilly as a portrayal of the white Southern belle with the ingrained belief that black people are not as good as whites, verbalized as "separate but equal" so it doesn't sound racist. My favorite scene was when Hilly says they have to be careful of racists because they are out there.

She's a bit over the top, but if you've been to the South, not that far of a stretch. I just would have liked to find some redeeming qualities in her from Skeeter's perspective. While there are some instances where I felt Stockett was squeezing historical facts into the novel, forming the plot around these events instead of letting them play backdrop, and occasionally I could read the modern woman in this tale pushing her message too hard, Stockett's sincerity to understand and appreciate shines through.

She lived this book to some extent and the story is a part of her. Because it's important to her it becomes important to me.

While it was a well-written effort, I didn't find it as breathtaking as the rest of the world. It more or less rubbed me the wrong way. It reads like the musings of a white woman attempting to have an uncomfortable conversation, without really wanting to be uncomfortable. It's incredibly hard to write with integrity about race and be completely honest and vulnerable. And if her intent isn't anything greater, th While it was a well-written effort, I didn't find it as breathtaking as the rest of the world.

And if her intent isn't anything greater, then it makes this book all the more pandering to the white imagination of what it must have been like to be "the help" during that era.

It's passive self-reflection at best and utterly useless. The national fascination with this book makes me sick. It makes me think of my grandmother who was "the help" to many white families for well over 50 years. Her stories aren't too different from those told in this book, but they are hers to tell. If she were alive today, I don't believe she would praise Stockett's book.

In fact, I think she we would be horrified at the thought that her years of hard work in some cases, for some very horrible people would be reduced to some wannabe feel good story of the past. View all 56 comments. Mar 15, Ellen rated it it was ok Shelves: The Kindle DX I ordered is galloping to the rescue today AND, for all the book purists which would include me , this is a need , rather than a want. Post-several eye surgeries, I'm just plain sick of struggling to read the words on a page.

However, despite the visual challenges, I read all pages of The Help yesterday. Clearly, the book held my interest. However, I spent last night pondering why the book wasn't as good as my nonstop reading would indicate. What was wrong? Most of all, I think it was the book's ambivalent tone. In brief, a white woman, Miss Skeeter Phelan--one of Jackson, Mississippi's socially elite--convinces a number of the African-American maids to tell her their story. What goes on in the homes of the upper crust?

How do these women really treat their maids? Though the book would be published anonymously and no locations would be given, the stories provide enough detail so that the premise that the book could be received as being about Anywhere, USA defies belief.

Further, while having the book's source known might subject Skeeter to social ostracism, this is the s in Missa-fuckin-sippi in the middle of the very tense civil rights' battles. For the maids, discovery would mean loss of a job with no hope of getting another position and retribution that could include being falsely accused of a crime and jailed or even being injured or killed. Despite the underlying tension and references to violent events that do occur, the book teeters.

At times, I was furious and in tears over the effing racism and the tragedies described. But Kathryn Stockett keeps pulling back. It's as though she wants it both ways. Let's divulge the incredible cruelty and violence that black people routinely endured, but let's also show the goodness of some white people and soft-pedal the whole thing into a broader theme, i.

You can't have it both ways. Though some of the women are kinder to their maids, they did not fight against the "separate but equal" indignities that included building a "nigra" toilet in their home or garage so that the maids' "nasty" germs would not infect them, the separate entrances, the substandard schools, the "justice" system that made a white accusation the same as proof, and on and on and on. I don't want a book to make me cry and then pull back and say, "It's all right.

If you're going to write a book about this horrible time in our history - and in a country where racism is still alive and well - then do it all out. What these women endured deserves more.

Don't put it out there and then pull back and use a Doris Day lens. It doesn't work. View all 53 comments. Nov 27, Lola rated it really liked it Shelves: You gone have to ask yourself, "Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?

B-but… The Help is different. We all want to live our lives the best way possible and be treated with respect. Miss Skeeter is also an important part of this story. She faces obstacles, so many of them, but does she ever back down?

No, because when she believes in something, no one can kill her spirit. He is the most frustrating part of the story, really. We hate him, we love him, we like him and then we hate him for the rest of the book. Never fear, the underlying themes of the story are extraordinary and that alone should make everyone want to read this book. I would also like to take advantage of this space offered to me and recommend the movie.

Apr 08, karen rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 85 comments. Apr 02, Kai rated it it was amazing Shelves: Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought. This novel did so many things to me. There was lots of crying Read it. Find more of my books on Instagram. View all 14 comments. Jan 12, Majenta rated it it was amazing. But she's struggling mightily to deal with grief over the death of her something son, and she SURE doesn't think conditions will ever improve for African-American domestic-engineering servants in earlys Jackson, Mississippi or anywhere else in the South.

Aibileen's good friend Minny has been a "I know what a froat is and how to fix it. Aibileen's good friend Minny has been a maid since she was very young, and on the first day of her first job her mother admonished her that sass-mouth, especially her degree of it, is highly dangerous--but it's not long before she's just gotta mouth off As Minny's first "episode" of the book opens, she is yet again looking for a new job, and this time an opportunity pretty much falls into her lap.

Celia Foote needs a domestic engineer, but she also needs a friend, a real ally, even a confidante. Oh, one more thing: I think this plotline was my favorite part. Celia's husband had formerly gone with even been engaged to? But, really, which is the worse attack from Minny: Thanks for reading.

The Help Reader’s Guide

View all 11 comments. Jan 07, James rated it really liked it Shelves: I read this book at least 4 years ago, before I began to more consistently use Goodreads It's only fair I should share my views so others can decide if it's a good book for them. That said I'll have to check out some other people's reviews And I wonder how many people just watched the I read this book at least 4 years ago, before I began to more consistently use Goodreads And I wonder how many people just watched the movie Oh well I'll keep this review short and not in my usual format, as probably everyone I'm friends with on here has already read it!

The only reason I'm not giving it a 5 is because I felt like some of the stories needed a better or stronger ending. I truly think it is a fantastic book, and it makes you really think about what happened in the not-so-distant past Scary thoughts, but in the end, at least the right people got something back they deserved, even if it wasn't as much as it should have been.

The characters are very clear and strong. And when there are upwards of 10 to 12 supporting or lead female characters, an author has to spend a tremendous amount of time creating distinct pictures in a readers mind.

Stockett did a great job with this task. Each and every one shows you a different personality: When a writer can shuffle this many people throughout a story, they have invested themselves into the book, the characters, the setting, the theme, the future. I haven't read anything else by this author, but just thinking about this book, and realizing I haven't looked at her other works makes me want to run to her profile now and pick one. Perhaps that's what I'll go do! About Me For those new to me or my reviews I read A LOT.

I write A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https: Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. View all 30 comments. Dec 01, Nancy rated it it was amazing Shelves: Audio books are good for me. I was so engrossed in the story and characters that I drove the speed limit on the highway and took the scenic route while running errands. Sometimes I went out at lunch and needlessly drove in circles, or sat in the parking lot at work, waiting for a good place to stop.

It is in Jackson, Mississippi. She is still grieving for her young son, who died in a workplace accident. The story jumps back and forth between the three characters, all of them providing their version of life in the South, the dinner parties, the fund-raising events, the social and racial boundaries, family relationships, friendships, working relationships, poverty, hardship, violence, and fear.

I loved this story!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett - review

The characters really came alive for me, and the author did a good job acknowledging actual historical events which lent richness and authenticity to the story. I laughed and cried, felt despair and hope. This is an important story that is a painful reminder of past cruelty and injustice.

It shows how far we have progressed and how much more we still have to accomplish. View all 54 comments. Jan 22, Jaline rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is an amazing and moving novel. So much so that tasks, appointments, and everything else in my life were put on hold while I read, laughed, cried, celebrated, hurt, and felt healed.

The truth in those words vibrates throughout this brilliantly conceived and executed novel. The author herself talks about the risk of a white woman telling the stories of black women living in an era of slow This is an amazing and moving novel.

The author herself talks about the risk of a white woman telling the stories of black women living in an era of slow transition between overt, undisguised racism and a more covert and secretive racism. Yet, many white people of that time did not recognize racism for what it was: As long as the black people needed the jobs offered by white society, they would be subject to obeying every command, swallowing frustration, anger, and their own pride — and usually for much less than minimum wage.

The consequences of not swallowing were just too dangerous. One slip, one false step, and the entire premise would collapse into the water. And then there is Minny. Rebellious, full of anger, intelligent, wise, and good - how she was able to cope with a home life filled with conflict and carry on working fulltime besides is beyond me. My admiration for so many of these characters started small and continued to build throughout the novel. Their lives, their experiences, their authenticity and humanity touched my soul.

I will always be grateful to this beautifully crafted novel for opening my eyes and my heart to a larger perspective. View all 95 comments. Jul 10, Salome G rated it did not like it. The story itself: This could have really used a better editor. I didn't understand why the boyfriend character was even in there--he added nothing to the story. In addition, Skeeter keeps telling us that Hilly and Elizabeth are her friends but that's just it--she tells us. We never see why she would want to be friends with either of them, Hilly especially.

Other characters were equally unbelievable. All the maids are good people and so gracious to Miss Skeeter, save one. Reading their interactio The story itself: Reading their interactions with Skeeter, I was reminded of Chris Rock's bit about old black men: I was going to say that it borders on portraying her as a Magical Black Person because I didn't think she had magical powers, but then I remembered the part about how her fellow church members think her prayers are more powerful than others'.

The premise: Before reading, my question was, can Kathryn Stockett write this story?

The Help Reader’s Guide

I read the whole book. I read the self-conscious afterword. Can Stockett write this story? Well, of course she can. But should she? I lean toward no.

This is not her story to tell. I was reminded of Lo's Diary and how Pia Pera said that she thought of a part in Lolita as an invitation to a a literary tennis match and so she had to write it and no, you didn't. And neither did Kathryn Stockett. She said that she wrote this book because it'd never occurred to her what her maid Demetrie's life was like. So she made up the story.

And it was still all about the white lady. View all 46 comments. Mar 02, Jason rated it really liked it Shelves: Jun 18, Dana Ilie rated it it was amazing Shelves: There is a lot to like about this book.

And I was impressed by the fairly even-handedness of the t There is a lot to like about this book. And I was impressed by the fairly even-handedness of the topic that Stockett managed.

There are good and bad and goodish-baddish people on every side of the issue, and each has different motivations and reasons for being where they are on that side — hate, pride, naivete, personal experiences.

Three reasons why I love The Help: It is not a comedy but some lines just had me wanting to read on and on! It is easy to read. Even though The Help talks about a very serious time in American history, the author really thought about how to write the story in a way that it just flows. I really felt a connection with each of the characters. You get to know them from their point of view.

View all 18 comments. Mar 22, Tatiana rated it did not like it Shelves: I don't think this could be any more obvious, trite and cliche-ridden. The book's only aim is to make white people feel better about themselves you know, that same old a-brave-white-lady-savior story you've read and a few dozen times before.

Guess it worked. View all 24 comments. Those gorgeous prose remind me of limitless imagination, life's trials and tribulations, overcoming overwhelming odds with tenacity, fortitude, kindness, the strength of character, and love; and sometimes, it serves as a personal reminder about that gaping hole that nothing can ever fill.

The Help is one of those novels. From this unlikely alliance, comes the unique set of voices that fought against racial segregation, inequality, discrimination in America while upholding civil rights. Armed with intrepidity, these women transcend boundaries and potentially risk their lives with the hopes of having a better life in spite of racial prejudice and bigotry.

This book greatly expounds on what it means to be poor, coloured, and female during those unforgiving times. There's no doubt that the narrative is feministic in nature. The prose is well-written and believable albeit I couldn't verify the accuracy of the entire narrative. Its relevance is still felt in the present times.

Taking that into consideration, this just confirms that everything is not well when it comes to race and other types of persecution still exist e. The dichotomy of love and hatred, black and white, and other polarizing ideologies remains. What a complex and complicated world we have! Stockett also creates strong, lovable, yet imperfect characters that you'll be rooting for until the very end. My heart goes to both Aibileen and the sass-mouthing Minny.

Hilly Holbrook deserves an Oscar for the most despicable villain portrayed by a character in a book! Overall, this is a well-deserved 5-star read, especially for an impressive debut novel and a heartbreaking ending. As a reminder, I'll leave you with Aibileen's words of wisdom: Absobloodylutely fantastic narration!

Don't miss this one. Well done, ladies! View all 20 comments. Jul 03, Matt rated it it was amazing Recommended to Matt by: Sarah Suzy. A mix of humour and social justice, the reader is faced with a powerful piece on which to ponder while remaining highly entertained.

In Jackson, Mississippi, the years leading up to the Civil Rights Movement presented a time where colour was a strong dividing line between classes. Skeeter was unwed and with few prospects, though her time away at college left her ready to tackle the workforce until an eligible man swept her off her feet. Skeeter sought a job as a writer, prepared to begin at the bottom rung, but not giving up on sleuthing around to determine what might have been going on in Jackson.

Skeeter scored a job writing an informative column in the local newspaper, giving cleaning tips to housewives in need of a little guidance. Who better to offer these tips that the hired help of Jackson?! With secret meetings taking place after working hours and Skeeter typing away, a mental shift took place and the idea of class became taboo, at least to some.

However, sometimes a book has unforeseen consequences, turning the tables on everyone and forcing tough decisions to be made. Stockett pulls no punches in the presentation, fanning the flames of racial and class divisions, as she depicts a way of thinking that was not only accepted, but completely sanctioned. Race relations in the United States has long been an issue written about, both in literature and pieces of non-fiction.

How a country as prosperous as America could still sanction the mistreatment of a large portion of its citizens a century after fighting a war on the issue remains completely baffling. While Stockett focusses her attention on Mississippi, the conscious reader will understand that this sort of treatment was far from isolated to the state. One might venture to say that racism continued on a worldwide scale, creating a stir, while many played the role of ostriches and denied anything was going on.

The characters within the book presented a wonderful mix of society dames and household help, each with their own issues that were extremely important.

The characters bring stereotypes to life in an effort to fuel a raging fire while offering dichotomous perspectives. The interactions between the various characters worked perfectly, depicting each group as isolated and yet fully integrated. The household help bring the struggle of the double work day triple, at times while the society dames grasp to keep Mississippi from turning too quickly towards integration and equality, which they feel will be the end of all normalcy.

Using various narrative perspectives, the characters become multi-dimensional. Additionally, peppering the dialogue with colloquial phraseology pulls the story to a new level of reality, one that is lost in strict textbook presentation. Stockett pushes the narrative into those uncomfortable places the reader hopes to keep locked in the pages of history, pushing the story to the forefront and requiring a synthesising of ideas and emotions.

While racism is not as sanctioned in as many laws, it remains a strong odour and one that cannot simply be washed away by speaking a few words.

This book, as entertaining as it is in sections, is far from fictional in its depiction of the world. The sooner the reader comes to see that, the faster change can occur. All lives matter, if we put in the effort and have the presence of mind to listen rather than rule from our own ivory towers. Kudos, Madam Stockett for this wonderful piece. I am happy to have completed a buddy read on this subject and return to read what was a wonderful cinematic presentation.

An ever-growing collection of others appears at: View all 33 comments. Apr 17, Thomas rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Originally, I thought this book should have been retitled The Hype. At least that's what I told my friend. I remember thinking something along the lines of, blah, another story about racism in the old southern days? Must be the chick-lit version of To Kill a Mockingbird. I was so wrong. There is Skeeter, a twenty-two-year-old aspiring writer who terribly misses her maid, Cons Originally, I thought this book should have been retitled The Hype.

There is Skeeter, a twenty-two-year-old aspiring writer who terribly misses her maid, Constantine. Aibileen is an experienced and knowledgeable black maid who is currently taking care of her seventeenth child, Mae Mobley, even though she realizes what's at stake for both of them.

And Minny is a fierce, sassy cook who doesn't take nonsense from anyone, even when it risks her employment. This tumultuous trio takes the first step in sparking a movement that will ignite fire to the racism and hypocrisy of their small town. My synopsis of the story probably isn't even a tenth of the merit it deserves.

I don't want to spoil too much about the book, but the most amazing thing about The Help is its characters. They are so real, so lifelike, I could feel their thoughts pulsing through my head and their emotions racing through my veins.

I was angry alongside them, cheered for them, and cried with them. I think everyone should read this book, especially people who are ignorant about the racism and hypocrisy that still manages to plight everyday society. The Help wasn't just a darn good read, but something that has made me reevaluate and examine my own morals.

I'll never forget it. Want to read more of my reviews? Follow me here. View all 25 comments. The Help is a touching novel that explores the lives of black maids living in the racially unjust, Mississippi in the s, by using the perspective of two black maids and a female, white writer.

Minny and Aibileen are the two maids who are close friends and like many other maids, have spent the majority of their life cleaning up after white families and raising their kids. Skeeter is the third character the novel centres around, she fondly remembers her own maid, Constantine but lacks informatio The Help is a touching novel that explores the lives of black maids living in the racially unjust, Mississippi in the s, by using the perspective of two black maids and a female, white writer.

Skeeter is the third character the novel centres around, she fondly remembers her own maid, Constantine but lacks information about her disappearance and current whereabouts. Her ambition to write and love for her childhood carer lead her and the maids to eventually come together and become invoved in a dangerous project which puts all their lives at risk.

This novel hooked me from the start as it deals with important issues and gives a unique perspective with interesting characters. It looks at the civil rights movement from a different angle as it uses maids who help in a very different way, as they simply describe their work so it can be printed into a book. However, it is not as simple as just telling their story as their eventual willingness to outline their work, immediately puts everyone involved in a threatening position.

This danger lurks over all the maids involved for the whole story, creating tension and atmosphere. The novel switches between three characters,Aibileen,Minny and Skeeter. I loved all of the characters especially Minny as she'll talk back and can be quite funny. Her interactions with her employers and others is a delight to read as she's written so well.

All viewpoints are gripping but for me, Minny was definitely the best and I would have prefered if she had more chapters than Skeeter. I enjoyed Kathryn Stockett's writing as I thought she did an excellent job at creating tension,painting an image and giving the characters complexities. The plot was engrossing as there was never a dull moment and no parts I felt needed to be cut out.

For me, this was a fantastic book which I thought dealt with racial themes and inequality brilliantly. This is a book I would definitely pick up again.

View all 26 comments. The Help is a tale of lines, color, gender and class, in the Jackson, Mississippi of the early s. This is a world in which black women work as domestics in white households and must endure the whims of their employers lest they find themselves jobless, or worse.

It is the Jackson, Mississippi where Medgar Evers is murdered, and where spirit and hope are crushed daily. It is the Jackson, Mississippi where Freedom Riders are taken from a bus, a place where segregation and racism are core belie The Help is a tale of lines, color, gender and class, in the Jackson, Mississippi of the early s.

It is the Jackson, Mississippi where Freedom Riders are taken from a bus, a place where segregation and racism are core beliefs and where challenge to the status quo is met with resistance, to the point of violence. It is a time of political turmoil on the national stage, as the civil rights movement is picking up steam. It is also a place where using the wrong bathroom could get a black person beaten to death. The Help sees this world through three sets of eyes, Aibeleen, a fifty-something black woman who has taken care of many white children and is beginning again with a newborn.

Minny, in her thirties, has troubles enough at home, with an abusive, drunken husband and several children of her own, but her inability to control her tongue has led to a series of jobs and a series of firings. Skeeter is a young white woman, newly graduated from college, and eager to pursue a career in writing. Skeeter has grown a conscience and no longer accepts the presumptions of the past. She yearns to know what happened to Constantine, the black woman who was so important to her as a child.

Skeeter sees the unfairness of the social structure. The story not only places the events in historical context, but offers a taste of what it must have been like for the Aibeleens, Minnys and Skeeters of the time. Stockett has created living, breathing characters, people you can relate to, cheer and cry for. If there is softness here, it is that the devils are painted in glaring red, which may be an accurate portrayal of the time, but makes for a melodramatic feel at times.

The heroines are fully realized. We get a sense of how they came to be the way they are. While we are offered some background on the baddies, it is not enough to make them as completely human as the three narrators. The Help is a powerful, moving read, blessed with a colorful, believable cast of characters, a compelling setting and an eternal message of shared humanity, a knockout of a first novel.

View all 15 comments. This is a powerful story about women's relationships with each other, and how they are affected by race and class , told from the viewpoints of three women two black maids and a young white woman. It is set in segregated Jackson, Mississippi, in , at the dawn of the civil rights movement, but it's local and domestic, rather than looking at the big picture. The first third of the book establishes the main characters and their situation and relationships; the rest of it revolves around a This is a powerful story about women's relationships with each other, and how they are affected by race and class , told from the viewpoints of three women two black maids and a young white woman.