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The Help
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Product Description

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, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.Minny, Aibileen-s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody-s business, but she can-t mind her tongue, so she-s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women-mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends-view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don-t.

Customer Reviews:

  • Wonderful Read
    This is a terrific book! I finished in 3 days, because I found it very hard to put down. Ms. Stocket writes clearly and with skilled word usage. She paints a very accurate picture of the 1960's in the south. Her book recalls the tension of the civil rights era and the blatent unfairness of segregation. This book will put into context , for those who did not live in the sixties, how far we have come and will remind us who did live then, why it had to change....more info
  • "The Help" needs some help
    How much better it would have been if written by someone like Tom Wolfe! This book has good bones. Too bad the writing can't do justice to it. The plot is intriguing. Interviews with Black maids in the early 60's working for bitchy, screwy southern white women(OK, a few of them have good hearts). The dialect "gone get me a piece of that" (how come not 'dat'?), "sho nuff", "law, have mercy" is contrived and annoying. The stereotypical characters, tough NY Jewish publisher with a soft heart, rebellious young journalist, rich, handsome love interest who of course, disappoints, wacky hillbilly sexpot, and of course the maids.
    Still, for all its faults, it kept me reading. With better writing it could have been a Pulitzer winner!...more info
  • The Help
    I read The Help in one day. The story is heart-warming, suspenseful, sad, and funny all at the same time. The characters and the relationships are so real, I found myself cheering for them out loud. I have not read a story I was so taken with in a very long time. Read this book!...more info
  • I could'nt put it down!
    I really loved this book because it never got so brutal I had to put it down. I feel the author did a great job of showing both sides of the relationship between the "Help" and the families they worked for. I would recommend this book to all my friends!

    ...more info
  • Best book I've read this year
    I just finished The Help and I'm really sad that it's over. The story is completely engaging and the 3 main characters, in addition to several secondary characters, are all beautifully developed. I felt I really knew each and every one of them - their wants, needs, and motivations. The book also gives you great insight into Mississippi in the 60s - a truly scary place!

    I'd love to see Stockett write a sequel as I'd love to follow Skeeter to New York to see how her life turns out! I will recommend this book to everyone I know....more info
  • Great, easy read that you cant put down !!!
    This was a really good book. I read it on a road trip and I didnt want to put it down. It's very light and still grabbing. I really loved it and am looking for more from this author in the future :)...more info
  • Good story, flimsy characters
    Read this book because it's an enjoyable summer novel! It's just not a five-star novel. The characters tend to be pretty stereotypical: the "smart, different girl" with a "cold, disapproving mother," the "sassy maid," the "good-hearted gal from humble origins trying to fit in," etc. It reads like a first novel by an author who will grow and improve with time, and eventually even write five-star novels.

    The first chapter, written from Aibileen's point of view and in her dialect, really drew me in. Unfortunately, it gets weaker and weaker as each new character is introduced. When Skeeter's mother gripes at her for "encouraging" Pascagoula by watching television with her, I shut the book and thought, "OK! OK! I GET IT! SHE'S A RACIST!" There were lots of similar heavy-handed moments that wouldn't have been necessary if the characters had been more than types.

    Like I said, this book is worth reading; I enjoyed it. Just don't expect too much. Even a topic as powerful as civil rights in the 60's can't magically flesh out flimsy characters. ...more info
  • Wished it could have gone on!
    I absolutely loved this book. I wish I could have followed the characters beyond the last page. They felt like friends very early on. I've always been drawn to stories of the dichotomy of life in the south and in the civil rights era. But this one had a real feel of authenticity to it. I can't wait to see more from Kathryn Stockett....more info
  • Wonderous, thrilling, thought provoking and enthralling
    Undoubtedly one of the best books I have read in a long time. It kept me up several nights worrying about the risks taken by both the black housemaids and the brave but largely outcast young protagonist who dares to help them (and herself) by telling their story. The South prior to Civil Rights was a cruel, heartless and murderous place for blacks and we truly feel that in this book. The immense pressure to conform to family's, friends' and society's expectations and requirements as well as the pain of not conforming is palpable. The insight this book provides into a very recent past is essential to an understanding of where we are in race relations today. A thought provoking and enchanting book for not only adults but thoughtful teens as well....more info
  • The Help
    This is one of the most riveting books I have read in years. I couldn't wait to read the next chapter, but I was so sad when it ended. I wanted to keep reading about these wonderful characters. Amazing for a first novel....more info
  • Three Women as Strong As Velvet Lined Bricks
    This book is so readable and such a gem that it was hard to put down. Despite it being over 400 pages, I read it in three days - - and I am not a fast reader.

    It is about a lot of things. In a nutshell, it takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960's during the time of Martin Luther King, JFK's assassination, Bob Dylan's singing, sit-ins, and the Civil Rights Movement. It made me remember why I marched in Washington for Civil Rights and how I cried when I heard Martin Luther King give his 'I have a dream...... " speech. It brought me back to those special times.

    This book is about the lines that separate people in the Mississippi of that era - - but also those lines that merge, that cross each other and bring people together. It is about 'the help', the black women who work for white genteel ladies of the south. These same genteel ladies call their servants 'nigras' when they are polite and another word beginning with 'n' when they are impolite.

    It is a book about prejudice and hope, about racism and inclusion, about love and about hate. It is told from the vantage point of three women, 2 older black women who work as 'help', and a 24 year-old white woman who has a vision that is different from those she grew up with.

    The black women are Aibileen and Minny. Minny can be a brick but she also has a soft and beautiful heart . She is capable of 'The Great Awful' which you will read about. Aibileen is like a velvet lined brick. She has a vision of beauty and love that is fierce and solid within her. She teaches the children she takes care of to love themselves and to believe in the power of goodness. Skeeter, the white woman, is testing the waters of change, getting her feet wet by questioning things that have always remained silent in her life. She has a fierce determination and a solid core.

    This is a wonderful book, one that will keep you up at night long past your bedtime - - and you won't regret having stayed up to read!...more info
  • Fantastic!!!
    I absolutely loved this book and just finished, I read it every moment I could steal away in the last few days. (Not a fast reader and it speaks volumes that I read the 444 pages that quickly.) I was absolutely captivated, felt so attached to the characters and loved learning more about the South in the 1960s and the Civil Rights era...felt like she put me right there in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi. I hope Kathryn Stockett is busy with other books! I can't believe this is her first novel it is so well written and moving. Read it!! You'll love it!...more info
  • read the other reviews, then read this book!
    This is the best book I've read in years - a book that I stayed up very late several nights in a row because I couldn't put it down. I woke up this morning still thinking about Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter. These characters really get under your skin. You care about them; you're scared to death for them; you want to protect them. The things the white so-called ladies do to their help makes you cringe and yet you also get the sense of real affection between some families and their help. These stories are going to stay with me for a long time. ...more info
  • Best Book for your Summer Reading List!
    WOW! What an amazingly, well written book. A must read for anyone, especially for those who did not grow up in the south during this particular era. As a southener, I am well aware of the many "older, more prominent" families who still believe that the old ways were the best ways. This book speaks volumes to that old adage. An amazing read that you won't be able to put down from page one! ...more info
  • A deep and encompassing understanding shared with the reader
    In my life long quest to read books written by women about women, this book fills a void. I am white, I grew up in the north, born in the mid 50s. Because I came of age at a time when people and women were examining everything (the late 60's, early 70's), I somehow had the good grace to learn early on in my life, not to see the differences in folks, but rather to see the similarities life creates amongst us all. And I wonder, why was I so lucky to have learned to see what we have in common, rather than what we have that may be different. I owe some of it to my racist father. As I became more fueled with my independence and the knowledge I was gaining by looking at the world through my own eyes, I became defiant to everything my father said. I was angry at what I thought was his ignorance and his arrogance. I now know, that my father, born in 1918, up north, where everyone was the same color, was acting more out of fear than from any evil place. Fear of the unknown, and fear of feeling something different than what was expected of him by his peers.
    I am very appreciative to this author for looking at her own childhood and bringing us a story that shows equally where these women of Jackson Mississippi were coming from. I didn't want it to end and I want to know more about what happens to Skeeter, Abi, Minnie and even that misguided, scared to her bones, Miss Hilly. I want a second book that shows the same wise discretion and sensitivity as this one. Living in the town famed for the internationally known Writer's Workshop, I get exposed to so much literary talent like John Irving and Kurt Vonnegut, I sure wish we could add Kathryn Stockett to our claim.

    ...more info
  • Good read, historical fiction
    This book was easy & fun to read. It is about the plight of black women who worked as housekeepers in the sixties. It is meaningful historically, but also just a good read....more info
  • Fantastic First
    This superbly written first novel was enjoyed, without exception, by my daytime book club members. Other than some comments upon the "lame ending" (like an essay cut short by time limits), the novel was a treasure of in-depth personalities and a lovely, but haunting, review of the evolving race and gender issues at the time. ...more info
  • Should be turned into a movie!
    A story about a young white girl in Mississippi who takes on a daring project to write about the help, the black women that live and work for the white people of the town. I love the three different perspectives given.

    This book didn't seem over the top. The feelings described, the dilemmas, everything seemed genuine within the context of the time and the characters described. I felt a sense of authenticity from the book.

    Honestly, as soon as I finished it I thought this needs to be made into a movie. It would be a beautiful movie. I can picture the characters on the screen. The author has done a wonderful job with her first novel. I truly look forward to reading more by her in the future....more info
  • Shocking, Mortifing, and Laugh Out Loud
    I'll be the first to admit that when an author writes in multiple voices it takes me a couple of chapters to keep everyone straight, with that being said, The Help is the exception. Kathryn Stockett clearly voices each character and smoothly transitions between them all in a way that has them portrayed more along the lines of real live people then just single dimensional characters in a book.

    1962 Mississippi is no place to be, white, privileged Eugenia, more commonly known as Skeeter because of her likeness to a mosquito has recently returned home from college and much to her mothers disappointment there is no ring on her finger. Aibileen has just returned to working for a white family since the death of her own child and Minnie, the best cook in the county is quite hard pressed to find a family to work for since she has quite of habit of speaking her mind, something that a white family just won't put up with.

    As each woman's story is told a truer picture of the segregated south emerges. When they decide to work in unison to write a book from the black domestics perspective looking at the white families they have loved and served a whole new picture emerges. The fear of being discovered, of actual prison time becomes all to real, but it's a story that has to be told. A story that in a way will free them all.

    At times you will be shocked, mortified, and laughing out loud, these women will have you hearing what they have to say for a very long time.
    ...more info
  • Another Great Southern Novel
    Stockett's book is an easy read that delves into deeper issues. Most Mississippians and other Southerners over the age of 50 will see events of their childhoods through her book's characters. Highly recommended....more info
  • Excellent Debut Novel
    I was looking for some "light" reading and purchased this book based upon the reviews left by other readers. This book did not disappoint! It was very well written and the characters pulled me in right from the very first page. I read a lot and there aren't many books that make me sad to reach the end but this one did! I could feel the Mississippi heat while also feeling the characters' internal conflicts. This book is very highly recommended if you want to get a feel for what it was like to live in the 1960's South with the civil rights movement....more info
  • Wonderful Read
    I enjoyed this book very much- I thought it was well written and the characters were well rounded, there was no one that was "completely bad" or completely good for that matter, every character was like someone you have met before- a great read...more info
  • It was so good I didn't get anything done this weekend!
    I just love books that get me right from the start. I couldn't wait to read the ending. Everything I had to do this weekend interfered with my reading! I couldn't wait to get back to it. You felt like you knew the characters personally. This book and "Water for Elephants" are my two favorites so far this year. Great story, I will anxiously await her next novel....more info
  • Don't miss this book!
    Expecting this to be another dreary greatly exagerrated novel about race relations, I downloaded a sample to my Kindle. Well, I couldn't stop reading, and ordered the rest of this hard-to-put-down book. As a Southerner, I recognized all the characters, good and bad, in this book, and was drawn into their lives. It was written with humor and understanding, and was an entertaining read. I look forward to other books by this author--on any subject....more info
  • The Best Book of 2009
    Excellent book, a must read. You will love the characters and feel the emotion in this book!...more info
  • Fantastic!!!
    I absolutely loved this book and just finished, I read it every moment I could steal away in the last few days. (Not a fast reader and it speaks volumes that I read the 444 pages that quickly.) I was absolutely captivated, felt so attached to the characters and loved learning more about the South in the 1960s and the Civil Rights era...felt like she put me right there in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi. I hope Kathryn Stockett is busy with other books! I can't believe this is her first novel it is so well written and moving. Read it!! You'll love it!...more info
  • the best
    The best book I've ever read! I read almost a book a week but this one jumped way ahead of all my other favorites!...more info
  • Good read, historical fiction
    This book was easy & fun to read. It is about the plight of black women who worked as housekeepers in the sixties. It is meaningful historically, but also just a good read....more info
  • Suberb!
    I almost stopped in the middle of the book to write a review just to say how much I was enjoying this book! I loved the back and forth of separate chapters with the different characters. I would love one so much and not want to end her chapter and then I would fall in love all over again with the next one! This book made me ask the people around me if they could remember the times like this book portrayed. And I love books that makes you ask questions or even question yourself about the kind of person you would have been. All in all, this book is an enjoyable read. I found myself reading it real southern and some may find the dialect a little difficult. But you soon get used to it.
    ...more info
  • Great......
    A baby boomer, I related to a lot of the external happenings in this book. Raised in the North however, the maid's stories were revealing. It amazes me that this is Ms. Stockett's first novel. Wonderful read. ...more info
  • Not in a long time have a read a book so riviting.
    I am an avid reader and happened on this book because it was a recommendation to me. I did not want it to end. It was to say the least fabulous. I would recommend this highly to any bookclub....more info
  • Wonderful book.
    Help was one of the best books I've read in ages. Kathryn Stockett is a masterful story teller who brings the reader right into the story. Put this on your must-read list....more info
  • Enjoyed every bit but the end !
    Enjoyed entire book tremendously. In reflecting, Author relays her trepidation of creating characters with a different ethnicity than herself. Well Ms, Stockett accomplished a flawless feat. All the characters, both the White and their help were created to give them depth and were very believable. Overall the book was well written, I only did not like the way it ended....more info
  • Very entertaining read
    I enjoyed this book, it was funny and easy to read. The characters were easy to like, easy to hate, but mostly indicative of the time period. I had to keep reminding myself that this mostly takes place during the early 60s. So much (and so little) has happened since then and we all need to be reminded of that every once in awhile. We also need to remember that sacrifice comes in all shapes and sizes, change and friendships evolve when you least expect it, you can't judge a person by their color, if you don't stand up for something you will fall for everything, but most of all make sure you know who makes the chocolate pie before you enjoy!! A recommended read....more info
  • True life experiences
    I really enjoyed this book. I was raised in the midwest and didn't have to deal with all of the uproar that was going on in the South. I enjoyed the pictures that the story painted of what life was truely like. I have reccommended this book to all of my friends....more info
  • More than just the help...
    I couldn't put this book down. It is so well written the characters leap off the page. Fiction based on fact, this novel is so fully realized that I imagine Aibileen, Minny and Miss Skeeter are out there somewhere and I'm hoping that I'll hear from them again soon. ...more info
  • It was so good I didn't get anything done this weekend!
    I just love books that get me right from the start. I couldn't wait to read the ending. Everything I had to do this weekend interfered with my reading! I couldn't wait to get back to it. You felt like you knew the characters personally. This book and "Water for Elephants" are my two favorites so far this year. Great story, I will anxiously await her next novel....more info
  • Best book I've read all year - one of the best ever
    I couldn't put this book down. I am from the south and recognized some of the funny things like one's silver pattern being more telling than a girl's horoscope. (See "The Southern Belle Primer" for more info on that funny fact.) I also recognized some of the more sad stories through my Mother's eyes. My Mom's best friend worked for her parents. She was black and not allowed to sit in the front of the bus, so my Mom sat in the back with her instead. Mom just couldn't understand. These men, and women were employees that did more than just help make her parents business thrive. They were her friends, her guides and her overseers to make sure she was safe. She loved them.

    Help is a story of some really beautiful women, their courage, bravery and kindness.

    It is funny, touching and completely captivating. I liken it to a book she mentions throughout... the amazing "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. If you enjoyed that classic, you will love this one as well.

    Get yourself a cool glass of sweet tea, with a lot of ice and let yourself get carried away to Jackson, Mississippi. It's worth the trip!
    ...more info
  • the help
    what a wonderful book. itwas hard to put down. even though it was fiction i am sure it was true to that time....more info
  • Made me laugh out loud and shed profuse tears
    This is one of the best stories I've read in a long time. I wish there were more books like this out there. Great...no...INSPIRING story, compelling characters painted with lots of texture and detail. Just superb....more info
  • The Hep
    I am an avid reader who especially enjoys books about my Southern experiences. I live in Jackson, MS. I was alive and witnessed the events of the Civil Rights era.

    This book is a beautifully written, engaging, fun, heart-warming, and all TRUE.

    It's a must read for anyone attempting to understand the transition period of our beloved South....more info
  • Help where it's needed
    Although this beautiful story is told from the perspective of three women, the characterizations of the auxilliary players are as clear-cut as the central protagonists. The author has chosen Jackson Mississippi in the early '60's and writes with a sure hand despite the fact that it is her parents' generation and not hers that is presented. The afterward is particularly valuable in order to glean a complete picture of Kathryn Stockett's motivations for writing the book, and for the deep compassion with which she has written it. I must add that although I grew up in Delaware, far north of Mississippi, I shared a similar experience with a caretaker; and a day doesn't go by that I don't remember Nettie with love and longing. ...more info