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The Help [Kindle Edition]

Kathryn Stockett
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8,022 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $8.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC


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Book Description

The wildly popular New York Times bestseller and reading group favorite

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...

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Four peerless actors render an array of sharply defined black and white characters in the nascent years of the civil rights movement. They each handle a variety of Southern accents with aplomb and draw out the daily humiliation and pain the maids are subject to, as well as their abiding affection for their white charges. The actors handle the narration and dialogue so well that no character is ever stereotyped, the humor is always delightful, and the listener is led through the multilayered stories of maids and mistresses. The novel is a superb intertwining of personal and political history in Jackson, Miss., in the early 1960s, but this reading gives it a deeper and fuller power. A Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 1). (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

In writing about such a troubled time in American history, Southern-born Stockett takes a big risk, one that paid off enormously. Critics praised Stockett's skillful depiction of the ironies and hypocrisies that defined an era, without resorting to depressing or controversial clich√©s. Rather, Stockett focuses on the fascinating and complex relationships between vastly different members of a household. Additionally, reviewers loved (and loathed) Stockett's three-dimensional characters—and cheered and hissed their favorites to the end. Several critics questioned Stockett's decision to use a heavy dialect solely for the black characters. Overall, however, The Help is a compassionate, original story, as well as an excellent choice for book groups.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1150 KB
  • Print Length: 545 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0425263568
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (February 10, 2009)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002YKOXB6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,670 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2,946 of 3,120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book in Years! An Instant Classic! January 28, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Help is about a young white woman in the early 1960s in Mississippi who becomes interested in the plight of the black ladies' maids that every family has working for them. She writes their stories about mistreatment, abuse and heartbreaks of working in white families' homes, all just before the Civil Rights revolution. That is the story in a nutshell - but it is so much more than just stories.

This is the best book I have read in years! I can't recommend it enough! It is fabulous and I think they will make a movie out of it. I would compare it to the writings of Carson McCullers, Harper Lee, Truman Capote and even Margaret Mitchell. The story grabs you and doesn't let you go. You can smell the melted tar on the Mississippi roads, the toil in the cotton fields, the grits burning on the stove. The theme is the indomitable will of human beings to survive against all odds - because of the color of their skin. It is a heart-wrenching account and you will never fondly remember the times of the Jim Crow laws (if you ever did). The pure, down and out bitchery of the white ladies who become dissatisfied with their maids and proceed to ruin their lives is portrayed vividly. The desperation of the maids' circumstances is truly touching. I have laughed and cried my way through this book and plan to re-read it. I highly recommend this book because it is going to be talked about as the best book of the year.
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1,390 of 1,471 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Classic for America March 1, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A new classic has been born. Kathryn Sockett's "The Help" will live in hearts and minds, be taught in schools, be cherished by readers. The three women who form its core, idealistic Skeeter, loving Aibileen, and sarcastic, sassy Minny, narrate their chapters each in a voice that is distinctive as Minny's caramel cake no one else in Jackson, Mississippi, can duplicate.

These stories of the black maids working for white women in the state of Mississippi of the 60s have an insiders' view of child-rearing, Junior League benefits, town gossip, and race relations.

Hilly is the town's white Queen Bee with an antebellum attitude towards race. She hopes to lead her minions into the latter part of the century with the "enlightened" view of making sure every home in Jackson, Mississippi, has a separate toilet for the help. Her crusade is, she says, based on clear hygienic criteria, which will save both blacks and whites from heinous diseases.

Despite the fact that the maids prepare the food, care for the children, and clean every part of every home, privy to every secret, many of the white women look at their black maids as an alien race. There are more enlightened views, especially those of Skeeter, a white, single woman with a college degree, who aspires to more than earning her MRS. Skeeter begins collecting the maids' stories. And the maids themselves find the issue of race humiliating, infuriating, life-controlling. Race sows bitter seeds in the dignity of women who feel they have no choices except to follow their mamas into the white women's kitchens and laundries. Aibilene says, "I just want things to be better for the kids." Their hopes lie in education and improvement, change someday for their children.
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733 of 799 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a treasure of a book January 20, 2009
By KMG55
I was lucky enough to come across an advanced reader copy of this book. Set in Mississippi during the civil rights movement, the story is narrated by the three principal characters...Minny and Aibileen, two black maids, and Miss Skeeter, a young, white woman newly graduated from college. The characters are wonderfully developed, as are the historical background and setting. As each character took her turn at narrating, she became my favorite character until the next one took over again.I was torn between not being able to put the book down and not wanting it to end.
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1,019 of 1,132 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining - evokes the South at a point in time April 22, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Having grown up in the South with "help" until I left home, I identified with many things in this book. Stockett has done a marvelous job of evoking time and place, from the food to the weather to of course the dialect.

I would have liked to have seen characters that were a bit more multi-dimensional. The maids depicted here were for the most part without failing, their white female employers almost universally despicable. As a male reader, I couldn't help but notice that the few men depicted were pretty miserable people, from the stereotypical wife-beating husband of Minny to the mostly one-dimensional husbands. The one standout was the senator, who was an entertaining character that leapt off the pages and added some variety. I think the book would have benefited from a bit more editing - I enjoyed the first 2/3 very much but then began to find it tiresome as the inevitable unfolded.

I also think that Skeeter's on-again off-again romance lacked depth - and wrapped up too abruptly. (Maybe that was edited out? haha)

Having said the above, I did enjoy "The Help" and would recommend it to others. It was a good first book for an author but leaves me wanting more from someone a bit more seasoned in building characters and handing multiple plot-lines.
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372 of 411 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't say enough good things about this book January 24, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I loved this book. The characters were so real they seemed like friends. The voices were so true it was hard to believe they were fictional. When I came to the end I was sad that it was over and I knew that the story and its message would stick with me for a long time. This is a book about love and suffering, hatred and faith, fear and courage. It is about women of strength and dignity who carry on and manage to care about others despite an unjust system. It is a beautiful book, unforgettable in many ways. It is touching, thought-provoking, humorous and compelling. It is one of the best books I've read on race relations in the 1960s Deep South. It is gentle, yet powerful, moving without being melodramatic, and most of all, realistic in every detail. I can't recommend it highly enough.

PARENTS AND TEACHERS: Mild, infrequent swearing, painful race issues/gross injustice, oblique/slang references to sex, references to domestic violence, a graphic miscarriage scene, and one short scene in which a crazy white man exposes himself to a maid and her employer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!
This book was wonderful! A must read!! I almost couldn't put it down. Even after seeing the movie, this book was riveting.
Published 23 minutes ago by Mhewitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Mother loved it
Published 1 hour ago by Darren Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful story, well, written. Should be read by everyone.
Published 1 hour ago by Magistra Vetus
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fast and smooth transaction, thanks
Published 2 hours ago by Ashley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
SUPER STORY-TELLING...Hope she writes another book soon
Published 2 hours ago by Tim Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It grabbed my attention with poignant story lines that both warm and wrench the heart at the same time. Read more
Published 7 hours ago by Noah Alkinburgh
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a great book and movie that I cried through at times!!
Published 8 hours ago by Loyal C. Kletzien
2.0 out of 5 stars Insulting
It was entertaining up to a point. really ruined it for me when the writer had one of the maids put her poop in the white lady's pie. Read more
Published 16 hours ago by Tracy
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Felt and Wonderful!!!
This is my 3rd time reading this book. It's such a great story. I had my 15 year old read it and asked her to reflect on our lives now and compare them to what was. Read more
Published 18 hours ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good. Enlightening
Published 1 day ago by BO'B
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More About the Author

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 nine years. The Help is her first novel.

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