- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (April 5, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425232204
- ISBN-13: 978-0425232200
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9,919 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Help Paperback – April 5, 2011
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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.”—NPR.org
“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
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 sixteen years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter.
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Top customer reviews
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Aibileen Clark is a black maid. She’s a God loving, church going woman. Most of the time she keeps to herself and stays out of the limelight. She is currently working for Mrs. Elizabeth Leefolt, one of Skeeter’s best friends. Mrs. Leefolt isn’t the type of person that should be having children. They are more of a nuisance than a joy to her. And, Aibileen is doing her best to raise Elizabeth’s children to love themselves and be kind to others.
Minny Jackson is a black maid in the household of another of Skeeter’s friends, Mrs. Hilly Holbrook. Minny has a sassy mouth and has a hard time keeping a job. She needs the money with five children and a husband working two jobs. Hilly is a mean, spiteful woman who is the head of the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi. She treats Minny as though she is a disease.
Skeeter finds herself at odds with Hilly and the idea of outdoor bathrooms for the colored help. The inhumane treatment that she witnesses sparks an idea to write the stories of the maids as told by the maids. Aibileen is the only one to agree at first. As things deteriorate in the South with the federal government pushing for desegregation, her editor urges her to get the book to her as soon as possible with at least a dozen stories.
Stockett’s first novel, The Help, is about the book itself being written. It is both funny and sad. The stories are about true love and friendship as well as hate and racism. There is a lot we all can learn from these stories. Social injustice to any group is unacceptable. These ladies worked long hours under almost slave-like conditions just to feed themselves and their families.
5 out of 5 stars.
I know there has been controversy over this book's subject matter, especially because it was written by a white woman. But only a white woman could have gotten access to the many homes to see what was happening. I think the protagonist saw the maids as individuals with hearts and souls. Women who loved their family, but often loved the family they worked for too.
This is a story that needed to be told. A story of struggle in a time in our history that we like to think is completely in the past. Sadly, we seem to learn daily that the past comes back to haunt us, often with a vengeance.
Stockett did an excellent job telling a story that is sympathetic to the maids. If the maids were alive today, I think they'd be proud of their depiction here!
Reading the fictitious, yet very real stories of the Southern help creates an illustration of how prevalent racism really was. The white ladies of Jackson were convinced to pass "a bill that requires every white home to have a separate bathroom for the colored help." We always hear about the classic stories of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., but these stories are more real and personal. Along with racism, The Help displays how segregated the South was in the 1960s. It was a true risk for Skeeter to work on a book with the African American help; risking her career and reputation, as well as their careers and very possibly, their lives.
One of the main characters and narrators of the book, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan has a very strong-willed, independent personality. She chose to write about what she was interested in, not necessarily what was socially acceptable. "I get to work writing down every goddamn thing that bothers me in life." Skeeter may face some obstacles along the way, but you will have to read on to find out if she prevails or not.
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