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The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Kathryn Stockett

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18,705119389 (4.39)1 / 1033
Title:The Help
Authors:Kathryn Stockett
Info:Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (2009), Hardcover, 464 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (2009)

  1. 654
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    Neale: Both deal with racial issues and are slow moving but enjoyable
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    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)
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  14. 20
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(see all 32 recommendations)


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English (1,134)  Dutch (26)  Spanish (11)  French (6)  Catalan (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  German (2)  Finnish (2)  Estonian (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (1,189)
Showing 1-5 of 1134 (next | show all)
This was an excellent book too!

I was completely drawn into the world of Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. Each woman fighting their own battle in their own way...winning some days and losing other days. Skeeter is the gangly, unperfect daughter of a perfect Mississippi Lady - yes with a capital L. Her dream is to be a reporter...and yes it's a dream. Through a series of rather embarrassing phone calls with the editor of a New York magazine she begins a task that changes the lives of many people around her.

Aibileen is the governess/nanny/maid/servant/Help of one of Skeeter's childhood friends. Aibileen has thanklessly focused her love and attention on 17 white children over the years - quietly reminding them that they are beautiful and wonderful and black is not awful and dirty. Aibileen's quiet and steady prayers draw people to her and give her the strength to begin telling her story to Skeeter.

Then there is Minny. The best cook in all of Jackson, Mississippi and a mouth that has gotten her fired from one too many jobs. Her fire is perfectly balanced by Aibileen's peace. Their friendship gives both courage.

Ok - this sounds a bit dull as I am describing it...but it isn't! This is a story of civil unrest and disobedience on a very grassroots level. As Aibileen and Minny tell the stories of their lives and encourage others to do the same - things change. White women who would not have had the courage to march, or even disagree with their husbands, quietly support their help.

This is a story of humanity and suffering and love and class distinctions an cruelty and forgiveness...and I loved it! I was cheering for Skeeter all the way.

But - I think my favorite part is the end...as worlds are crashing and being rebuilt - life goes on!

Another strong recommendation - I hope the movie does it justice!!! ( )
  kebets | Nov 1, 2014 |
I have an African American maid. She has been with my family forever and we all adore her, she is a part of the family, I do not live in the south. This book reminds me of all the times she has helped me, all the times... But it always seems telling to me that I've never told my friends. In keeping with this almost autobiographical review(yes, this book is that good) I wanted to tell a short story of myself that this book brought back. I was sitting in a 5th grade American government class when my teacher told of her son who, after dating a girl for a while, went to his house where he had an African American maid. He couldn't date her anymore. I, while not wanting to revile or demean the struggles our people(we are all one race) have faced wonder what happened that we judge someone on their help. I have never told anyone my family has a maid, it's a wonder I ever will with a ghost teacher telling me everyone will leave me because of it.
What I loved about this book so much was the humanity in the face of turmoil, these people with the world on their backs, beating husbands, angry white woman, rules upon rules upon discrimination. One of these days, we are going to look back on the woman, on the people who helped us and remember ( )
  Lorem | Oct 31, 2014 |
There is nothing I can say about this book that hasn't been said. just READ IT! Laugh out loud. Cry. and pass it on to your best friend and the watch the movie together. Wonderful! The secret pie recipe is the funniest, revenge scene ever. ( )
  mindyshalleck | Oct 29, 2014 |
They were going against all of the laws in the south. They were risking their jobs, their futures, their lives, to write this silly book, a book that may never be published. They could be sent to jail for the rest of their lives! Miss Skeeter wouldn’t be punished, just disowned by her mama. But her and Minny, oh dear, they wouldn’t see the light of day! Aibileen herself was scared for her life, but not for the reason she should be. She was scared for her family, not herself. She was scared for her maids, her coworkers, her closest friends.
Aibileen was one of the three people that Kathryn Stockett, the author of The Help, took on and began writing about, giving those who lack of the ability to speak. By combining the outcast, the cook, and the nanny, she talks about the book within a book, the story within a story.
The idea was simple; write a novel from the point of view by the shushed voices of African American maids in Jackson, Mississippi, circa 1963. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, a striving author in need of a job, takes on the assignment on writing the Miss Myrna column, a section of the local newspaper. It was dedicated to giving cleaning tips from an anonymous housewife, which Skeeter was not. This made her pursue Aibileen Clark, a fifty-three year old maid with the most experience. They join together, dragging Minny Jackson, a loudmouth servant with a knack for cooking and Crisco, along with ten others, to create a mix of memoirs about the life of the help.
This book, written beautifully and with the heart it deserved, definitely was able to live up to the ever-raising standards of the public. The author, Kathryn Stockett, gave the story a personality that changed constantly, from loving to dramatic to even humorous at some points. Stockett spoke from the views of three completely different characters, and used words that told how they talked normally, which was a pleasant change as opposed to the author making the character sound like the author. Kathryn Stockett also used what was happening during that time period to benefit the characters, connecting the individual to the historical aspect. Overall, this book had an emotional touch, such as the relationships between Celia Foote and Minny, and Skeeter and her mother, along with the efforts put forth by all of the maids, after risking their entire lives, to say what they had been trying to say for years; that they were not just the help, that they were human beings.
  TaSaBr14 | Oct 20, 2014 |
This book tops the "must listen audiobooks" lists here all the time. People rave.

As a fierce audiobook fan I figured I should at least attempt this book to see the quality people are talking about.

I had no real interest in this book other than that. It was on the "I'll get around to it" list for ages.

I finished it yesterday and I was floored. The audiobook is that good. They've cast it for a start - different narrators for each of the three perspective characters and I'm pretty sure a few others as well. It makes a difference, every time I heard Aibileen's voice I melted. They even cast Octavia Spencer, the woman who won a damn OSCAR for her performance as Minny in the movie. They invested in this audiobook and it paid off, I don't know whether I would have loved this book as hard as I do without their performances.

Having said that, the book is amazing. Yes it's about race in the 60s, yes it's about writing a book, yes it's about southern bitching and drama. But it's so much more, it's about people. The best books are always about people.

The final scene made me cry, like really sob. You don't do that unless you can hurt with the characters. This book is HUMAN.

This isn't really a review like I normally do. I'm not pulling apart characters and plot and where I think it fell down. It's not perfect! But it was beautiful.

You is kind. You is smart. You is important. ( )
  heaven_star | Oct 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 1134 (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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To Grandaddy Stockett, the best storyteller of all.
First words
Mae Mobley was born on a early Sunday morning in August, 1960.
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."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0241950805, 0241956536

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