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The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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The Help (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Kathryn Stockett

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18,588118691 (4.39)1 / 1029
Member:Winny99
Title:The Help
Authors:Kathryn Stockett
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Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Work details

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (2009)

  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. 351
    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg (laytonwoman3rd)
  3. 384
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker (Anonymous user)
  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
    Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn (shesinplainview)
  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
    Jubilee by Margaret Walker (MrsPeachum)
  16. 64
    The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (krizia_lazaro)
  17. 10
    Jenniemae & James: A Memoir in Black and White by Brooke Newman (DetailMuse)
    DetailMuse: Black domestics in white households in civil rights-era USA.
  18. 10
    Your Blues Ain't Like Mine by Bebe Moore Campbell (mcenroeucsb)
  19. 21
    The Outer Banks House by Diann Ducharme (amanaceerdh)
    amanaceerdh: same themes of southern racism
  20. 10
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(see all 32 recommendations)

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English (1,131)  Dutch (25)  Spanish (11)  French (6)  Catalan (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  German (2)  Finnish (2)  Estonian (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (1,185)
Showing 1-5 of 1131 (next | show all)
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 |
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 |
A very good book, although parts of it seemed unnecessary to the story. ( )
  piersanti | Sep 28, 2014 |
I don't often give a 5 star rating on anything. This book deserves it in my opinion. It was excellent.

The characters are totally believable; you love some, hate others, laugh & cry with all that goes on between them. The author is excellent at being very descriptive in all phases of the story. She does an excellent job of making you think of the time period (of the story) and also make you think/wonder of same issues in today's society.

I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a good book to read that will make you think. It moves along solidly and quickly; it's a 'can't stop turning the page' type of book.

I obviously can't say it enough; it is an excellent book and I highly recommend it! ( )
  LoriBom | Sep 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 1131 (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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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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Audible.com

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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