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The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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The Help (2009)

by Kathryn Stockett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
18,804119689 (4.39)1 / 1034
  1. 654
    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Alliebadger, Alie, Neale, readysetgo)
    Neale: Both deal with racial issues and are slow moving but enjoyable
  2. 384
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker (Anonymous user)
  3. 351
    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg (laytonwoman3rd)
  4. 295
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (jennyandaustin)
  5. 232
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (olimamma)
  6. 174
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (paulkid)
    paulkid: Race relations on different continents, told from multiple female perspectives.
  7. 113
    Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman (susiesharp)
  8. 60
    Roots by Alex Haley (mcenroeucsb)
  9. 51
    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: Both works are written from the perspective of a white female who has to gain the trust of her subjects -- African Americans who have suffered before and during the civil rights era -- to tell their story. In the end, they become friends and everyone contributes to the small amount of progress being made.… (more)
  10. 41
    Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (teelgee, BookshelfMonstrosity, momofthreewi)
  11. 30
    Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven (conceptDawg)
  12. 30
    Substitute Me by Lori Tharps (DDay)
    DDay: This recommendation might be a little out there, but this book is about a white couple in NYC who hire a young black woman to be their nanny. It's modern look at the issue of race and the role of domestic workers in a family. Sort of a chance to see how things have changed since the 60s and what issues are still present.… (more)
  13. 20
    Jubilee by Margaret Walker (MrsPeachum)
  14. 20
    Cold Rock River by J.L. Miles (bookwormteri)
    bookwormteri: Both deal with the disparity between the races in the 60s. The Help focuses more on the present (the 60's) while Cold Rock River is set in a more rural, less gentrified area with excerpts from a journal of a slave.
  15. 20
    Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn (shesinplainview)
  16. 64
    The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (krizia_lazaro)
  17. 10
    The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell: A Novel by Loraine Despres (susiesharp)
  18. 10
    Jenniemae & James: A Memoir in Black and White by Brooke Newman (DetailMuse)
    DetailMuse: Black domestics in white households in civil rights-era USA.
  19. 10
    I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots by Susan Straight (shesinplainview)
  20. 10
    Your Blues Ain't Like Mine by Bebe Moore Campbell (mcenroeucsb)

(see all 33 recommendations)

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English (1,140)  Dutch (25)  Spanish (11)  French (6)  Catalan (3)  Finnish (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  German (2)  Estonian (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (1,195)
Showing 1-5 of 1140 (next | show all)
An interesting book, not a great one. The writing was unimpressive, and the plot was often predictable and easy. But. I think this was a brave book for a Southern woman to write, and I am glad I read it. ( )
  amydelpo | Dec 9, 2014 |
The Help was a lovely story about African-American maids working and living in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s. The book focuses on many of the problems that African-Americans had to endure living in Jim Crow south. Although Stockett's book was well received and was eventually adapted as a film, it did receive some criticism. Some people thought that the voice she gave to the main character, Abilene, was too stereotypical; and that because she was Caucasian she did not have the correct perspective of how an African-American maid in the 1960s would speak.
  EmKel753 | Dec 2, 2014 |
An amazing read. ( )
  DonnaCallea | Nov 29, 2014 |
"Awesome! You will cry and laugh at the same time! Looking forward to reading more of her work....see the movie too! " ( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 27, 2014 |
After my recent experience of reading novels from which movies were based, I admit to being leery of reading "The Help". I have not see this movie, though, so I figured at least this time I would not hate it based on a comparison.

I LOVED this book.

I suppose the first thing you should know about me is that I had a Mammy growing up. Her name was Lula Mae, and she worked for my grandmother, helping take care of my dad and his sister as well as the house. When I came along, she helped take care of me when we would visit. I loved her. I do not even know where to begin, though, to explain that relationship to a non-Southerner. Nor did it ever occur to me in those years when I was still going back to Georgia to ask her what it was like for her to work for my grandmother or any other white ladies around. You just did not ask that thing. Not in the 1960s, and still not in the 1980s.

So reading this book really made me think and remember. And thank goodness that people far stronger than I think I could have been had the temerity and bravery to stand up against social injustice. The racism is still there. I am not going to pretend that it isn't. (First time I heard the n-word used in a derisive manner was a white girlfriend of mine that I hung out with sometimes when visiting my grandmother. I was 12. She was 16. I was completely stunned, and I never did spend much time with her after that.)

But this book is beautiful. You feel for everyone and root for the good people and fear for them all at the same time. The brutality of the violence, while rare in this book, is a stand out in its shock. What really got to me, though, was a section about the weapons in a white woman's arsenal. How she would never stoop to outright violence, but she would destroy you piece by piece -- your job, your reputation, your family's reputation, your home, anything she had the power to influence.

And I can well imagine it. Even the South of my memory, while genteel, was still filled with that very cutting, very subtle method of punishment. Never. Ever. Piss off. A Southern woman.

I know I am not terribly on topic, but this book moved me. I did not want to put it down. I wanted to hear all the stories, good and bad, and I wanted the right people to win. I'm not going to say everything turns out all right in the end, but everyone was better (well, almost everyone) for how it ended.

Thank you, Kathryn Stockett, for writing this book. It was beautiful. ( )
  ladypembroke | Nov 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 1140 (next | show all)
This is fun stuff, well-written and often applause-worthy. My only problem with The Help is that, in the end, it’s not really about the help.
 
I finished The Help in one sitting and enjoyed it very, very much. It’s wise, literate, and ultimately deeply moving, a careful, heartbreaking novel of race and family that digs a lot deeper than most novels on such subjects do.
 
As black-white race relations go, this could be one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mockingbird... If you read only one book this summer, let this be it.
 
“Mississippi is like my mother,” [Stockett] writes in an afterword to “The Help.” And you will see, after your wrestling match with this problematic but ultimately winning novel, that when it comes to the love-hate familial bond between Ms. Stockett and her subject matter, she’s telling the truth.
 
Her pitch-perfect depiction of a country's gradual path toward integration will pull readers into a compelling story that doubles as a portrait of a country struggling with racial issues.
 

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kathryn Stockettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Birgitte Victoria SvendsenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlsen, MonicaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cathrin GramIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingrid VollanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamia, JennaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spencer, OctaviaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turpin, BahniNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Grandaddy Stockett, the best storyteller of all.
First words
Mae Mobley was born on a early Sunday morning in August, 1960.
Quotations
De bus jakkert door State Street. We steken de Woodrow Wilson Bridge over en ik klem m'n kaken zo stijf op mekaar dat m'n tanden zowat breken. Ik voel dat bittere zaadje groeien in m'n binnenste, 't zaadje dat is geplant toen Treelore dood ging. Ik wil 't liefst zo hard gillen dat Baby Girl me kan horen dat smerig geen kleur is, dat ziekte niet de zwarte kant van de stad is. Ik wil voorkomen dat 't moment komt- en 't komt in 't leven van elk blank kind- dat ze begint te denken dat zwarten slechter zijn als blanken.
I always thought insanity would be a dark, bitter feeling, but it is drenching and delicious if you really roll around in it.
My face goes hot, my tongue twitchy.  I don't know what to say to her.  All I know is, I ain't saying it.  And I know she ain't saying what she want a say either and it's a strange thing happening here cause nobody saying nothing and we still managing to have us a conversation.
"Can't afford no air-conditioning. Them things eat currant like a boll weevil on cotton."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Passionnant drôle et émouvant , La couleur des sentiments a conquis l'Amériques avec ses personnages inoubliables .Une jeune bourgeoise blanche et deux bonnes noires . Personne ne croiraient à leur amitié; moins encore la toléraient . Pourtant , poussées par une sourde envie de changer les choses , malgré la peur , elles vont unir leurs destins , et en grand secret écrire une histoire bouleversante . THE LIFE STORIES OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MAIDS LIVING IN ALABAMA BEFORE AND DURING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.
Haiku summary
Black women raise kids/of white women who make them/use separate toilets (LC Brooks)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399155341, Hardcover)

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:31 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women--black and white, mothers and daughters--view one another.… (more)

» see all 14 descriptions

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Audible.com

3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0241950805, 0241956536

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