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The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Kathryn Stockett

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
19,177122184 (4.39)1 / 1051
Title:The Help
Authors:Kathryn Stockett
Info:Penguin (2010), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:fiction, usa, mississippi, civil rights, friendship, read 2012

Work details

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (2009)

  1. 664
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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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    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)
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    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.
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(see all 35 recommendations)


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English (1,165)  Dutch (25)  Spanish (11)  French (6)  Catalan (3)  German (3)  Finnish (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Estonian (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (1,221)
Showing 1-5 of 1165 (next | show all)
There are so many layers to this book and multiple mountains of reviews that I could parrot. So Ill point out what stuck with me most.

It never ceases to surprise me, shock me - reading about the norms of prejudice in the US in this era. As someone born in the 1970s, the lessons I was taught about valuing culture, customs, and diverse ethnicities were so vastly different than those born a mere 20 years before. Even more so, raising my own kids with the best of lesson so they do not forget either.

Kathryn Stockett writes incredibly well, and with such permanence for the reader - these characters just stick with you. I'm left wondering how these children grow up. Mae Mobley especially. Will she become a reflection of the sentiments of her time or someone to effect change in her generation? Sticks with you, I say.

Overall, I ran a gamut of emotions while reading. I recommend sitting down with tissue nearby, prepare to laugh, to feel and have these characters roll around in your head for a time. ( )
  fueledbycoffee | Jun 21, 2015 |
If I could give this 10 stars, I would. The women in this book are an inspiration, the stories are incredibly warm, funny, hard, and true. It made me feel every single emotion.
This book will stay with me for a very long time. ( )
  DanielleMD | Jun 20, 2015 |
Quise leerlo en la playa pero me resulto bastante indignante que la autora usara al movimiento por los derechos civiles en esa epoca ( donde podria haber escrito personajes semejantes a grandes luchadores reales como Gloria Richardson , que es un ejemplo de los interminables que no necesitaron la ayuda de una chica rica blanca para ser escuchados) y lo transformara en el material usual con el protagonista blanco/rico/heterosexual que salva al mundo .

Y no estoy diciendo que no deba hacerse ni que este mal que un escritor escriba sobre algo serio e historico adentro de una novela light . Tienen derecho a hacerlo , obviamente , y hubo varios buenos resulados en la tendencia (hay una pelicula casi excelente con Matthew McConnaghey - como carajo se escriba- donde el , abogado , defendia un hombre negro acusado de haber matado a balazos a los hombres blancos que habian violado a su hija que tuvo muchos aciertos) pero llega un momento que enough is enough .

A lo que voy es esto : cuando los autores hacen ,efectivamente , eso - todas las veces quien cuenta la historia es alguien ajeno a la lucha. Ni siquiera pertenece a la minoria que busca que se reconozcan sus derechos ! CAsi siempre el blanco/rico que "ayuda" al negro/pobre ; el heterosexual homofobico que "ayuda" al hombre homosexual ; el hombre machista que "salva" a la mujercita en peligro (ejem ! Crash ... cough cough alerta de pelicula de mierda) . Como si las minorias no se hubiesen levantado solas , hartas del matrato y la injusticia !!

Capaz es que ya vengo de una racha bastante cansadora y larga de leer y ver en el cine esta clase de historias (y que , ademas , me quieran hacer creer a mi , espectadora ingenua , que tratan a la comunidad con respeto cuando en realidad solo es lastima mal escondida ... no saben que el respeto no es lo mismo que la lastima??) pero , realmente , la cabeza ya no me da para estas cosas .

Me gusta que los escritores impongan temas serios en novelas "lit" pero me parece que es momento de que vayan mas alla , que se pongan en la piel de los luchadores de verdad en vez de jugar al espectador que termina siendo heroe solo porque entendio que el negro es un ser humano igualque el /que el homosexual en realidad es buen tipo/que la mujer es ... oh,sorpresa! igual al hombre ... que es algo que ya sabemos todos y eso no somos heroes de ninguna clase por entenderlo , simplemente humanos .

Para terminar (porque si me pongo en recontra politizada en esto no paro mas) , no quiero darle una puntuacion porque lei menos de 200 paginas asi que me limitare a decir que THE HELP es al movimiento por los derechos civiles lo que la horrible e indignante Dallas BUyers Club es a la comunidad LGBT ... una representacion superficial sobre una lucha seria que pone el enfoque en la lastima mas que en el entendimiento real y el respeto .
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
I wish I had friends like Abilene and Minny.

one of my all time favorite books. As one who grew up in the south, and being called horrible names for having a Jamaican best friend, there was a lot I could relate to. Ignorance, bigotry and hate are all things that are taught and not innate.

Superbly written and a phenomenal story. ( )
  chef13 | Jun 3, 2015 |
This is a wonderful study of three women and the time in which they lived in early 1960s Mississippi -- two black and one white -- whose lives are curiously intertwined by different relationships that they have. Then a project which they hope will shed light on a little examined aspect of all their lives and do good for everyone pulls them closer together while it threatens everyting they hold dear. I loved so many of the characters in this book and will be forever grateful that I didn't have a mother like Missus Phaelen. Recommended. ( )
  whymaggiemay | May 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 1165 (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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:15 -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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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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