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The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Kathryn Stockett

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17,675None96 (4.4)1 / 1012
Title:The Help
Authors:Kathryn Stockett
Info:Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (2009), Hardcover, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, 1960s, Jackson Mississippi, civil rights movement, African America women, prejudice, maid-employer relationship, ebook

Work details

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (2009)

Recently added bypgturner, Mariavictoria, private library, Kiara_Brady, mhmr, smitha_1988, theakatie, Y2Ash
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English (1,103)  Dutch (25)  Spanish (11)  French (7)  Catalan (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  German (2)  Finnish (2)  Estonian (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (1,158)
Showing 1-5 of 1103 (next | show all)
Miss Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan lives a mundane life in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960's playing bridge with the girls she grew up with and writing the newsletter for the Children's Benefit. Skeeter dreams of a bigger and better life as an editor for a publishing company or for a magazine. She writes to many places but the only job she can get is writing the domestic column for the local newspaper. Skeeter doesn't know anything about domestic housekeeping as she has been raised in the south with a housekeeper who does all the house cleaning and all the cooking.

Since she doesn't know anything about housekeeping, Skeeter takes her column questions to her friend Elizabeth's housekeeper Aibileen. Aibileen, reluctantly at first, answers all her questions and helps her with the column. Soon they become friends and Aibileen tells her about her son who passed away and how he had dreams of writing a book about how blacks are treated by their white counterparts which gives Skeeter the idea for the book "The Help". She hires Aibileen and twelve of her maid friends to tell stories for the book of working for whites in the South. The stories tell of mistreatment, abuse and heartbreak but also of love and attachment for the children they help to raise. And the telling of the stories itself is dangerous as it is set in the time of the civil rights movement and there are laws against whites and blacks conspiring together for any reason. They have to very careful and meet in secrecy or someone could get hurt or worse.

I loved the dialogue of the book because you get the true nature and character of each of the maids through their voices. Particularly Aibileen because she tries so hard to teach the white children she cares for to not be racist.

“Once upon a time they was two girls," I say. "one girl had black skin, one girl had white."
Mae Mobley look up at me. She listening.
"Little colored girl say to little white girl, 'How come your skin be so pale?' White girl say, 'I don't know. How come your skin be so black? What you think that mean?'
"But neither one a them little girls knew. So little white girl say, 'Well, let's see. You got hair, I got hair.'"I gives Mae Mobley a little tousle on her head.
"Little colored girl say 'I got a nose, you got a nose.'"I gives her little snout a tweak. She got to reach up and do the same to me.
"Little white girl say, 'I got toes, you got toes.' And I do the little thing with her toes, but she can't get to mine cause I got my white work shoes on.
"'So we's the same. Just a different color', say that little colored girl. The little white girl she agreed and they was friends. The End."
Baby Girl just look at me. Law, that was a sorry story if I ever heard one. Wasn't even no plot to it. But Mae Mobley, she smile and say, "Tell it again.”

I think this is an important book, even in modern times, because it shows not only how far we have come towards racial improvement but how far we still have to go. I laughed and I cried and I gobbled the whole thing up in less than a week.

Published by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (February 10, 2009). ( )
  clayhollow | Apr 8, 2014 |
One of the best books Ive ever read. ( )
  blkhart13 | Apr 6, 2014 |
Compassion and humor keep The Help levitating above its serious theme. This is perhaps why I gave this book 4 stars. I grew up in the North and the seriousness of the anger for the fight for desegregation was very clear on both sides of the racial divide.

I wished I had read the author's autobiographical afterword in the beginning of the book. It would have made it clearer why she chose to write this story in such a way. A tender tribute to a black maid, her own "Demetrie" who raised her.

( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
Compassion and humor keep The Help levitating above its serious theme. This is perhaps why I gave this book 4 stars. I grew up in the North and the seriousness of the anger for the fight for desegregation was very clear on both sides of the racial divide.

I wished I had read the author's autobiographical afterword in the beginning of the book. It would have made it clearer why she chose to write this story in such a way. A tender tribute to a black maid, her own "Demetrie" who raised her.

( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
It took a while for me to get into this one, but once I did, I enjoyed it. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 1103 (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."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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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 15 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0241950805, 0241956536

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