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

by Kathryn Stockett

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
21,497133861 (4.39)1 / 1097
Member:LBT
Title:The Help
Authors:Kathryn Stockett
Info:Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (2009), Hardcover, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Fiction, 1960s, Jackson Mississippi, civil rights movement, African America women, prejudice, maid-employer relationship, ebook

Work details

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (2009)

  1. 694
    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
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    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (paulkid)
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  8. 60
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  9. 62
    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
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  11. 30
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  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. 30
    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. 10
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  16. 21
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    amanaceerdh: same themes of southern racism
  17. 21
    The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The Help is a moving novel about a young white woman who discovers the effects of racism on black women and their families in mid-1960s Mississippi; The Dry Grass of August portrays similar discoveries for a white teenage girl in the mid-1950s.… (more)
  18. 54
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  20. 21
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(see all 33 recommendations)

1960s (59)
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English (1,279)  Dutch (27)  Spanish (11)  French (6)  German (3)  Catalan (3)  Finnish (3)  All (2)  Swedish (2)  Estonian (1)  Danish (1)  All (1,338)
Showing 1-5 of 1279 (next | show all)
I loved this book. The author grew up in Mississippi and bases the novel on her experiences as a child growing up in the segregated South. She focuses on the strange combination of intimacy and separation that existed between black maids and the white families they worked for. This was especially true with the children, who were close to the maids that raised them -- but at some point would be taught the "rules" that were observed before the Civil Rights movement changed things. Although this book deals with a serious subject, the author does it in a most entertaining way. She tells her story from three parallel points of view: those of two black maids and a twenty-something year old white woman who challenges the status quo. I was hooked by the second paragraph, in which Abilene, one of the maids, describes a baby this way:
"I ain't never seen a baby yell like Mae Mobley Leefolt. First day I walk in the door, there she be, red-hot and hollering with the colic, fighting that bottle like it's a rotten turnip."
Who wouldn't want to hear more from that character? All are as well written. It's great to find a good book that is also a fun read. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
The Help is about maids working in the South. They are tired of being mistreated by their employees. No one wants to speak up. Only one person and that's Abileen. Soon everyone gets on board. They meet up with Skeeter to give her information about what goes on in the home of their employees. ( )
  Paula1989 | May 8, 2017 |
I decided to read more on African American history, culture this year. I found some great books. The help was one of them. I know although based on true story, it is not a history book. There were times I didn't believe/like what I read. I will go over them first since they are few:

Aibileen seems way too smart for a lady who spent her time working as a maid. And I don't mean that as an insult. But, I know the probability of becoming a writer (where she helped Skeeter with her chapter) and reading heavy classics in your free time is really low. In a world of engineers with masters and PHDs, the ratio is still low even at my work place! Well, I won't dwell on it, it wasn't the point of this story.

Skeeter's mother did not die. It is not like I take pleasure on cold and frigid southern ladies dropping dead. It is just she does not die and story goes on and on! Come on, her whole point in the story was not that big. Kill the old broad already....

But the rest of the story was great! I love the viciousness and bubbly tasks of the southern ladies' club. I adored the love between Skeeter and Stuart Whitworth. The way it starts with an argument and the come back. The sexual tension.. I never thought I would feel that from a southern gentleman:



I liked how Skeeter found her strength despite her mother, the time she lived in, and her love for Stuart Whitworth ...

I really felt sad for Mae Mobley.. I disliked her mother intensely for being so distant and loveless towards her.. But, it later came to me: God knows what her mother went through. Postpartum depression is still hard to swallow in our society. It is 2016! Maybe this is what she was going through?

Minny was absolutely delightful. Her relationship with Celia was one of the main building bricks of the book for me. Celia reminded me of Marilyn Monroe and it was eye opening to see her exclusion from the society, not because of her color or wealth, but for her past and free-style.

It was a time just like today. People were put in groups by more privileged people for easy processing. Strong conscious people received warnings and live through the fear of being left alone or depending of the color of your skin- getting hurt, financially or physically.

This is the story of this world. Actors/Actresses will change, ideologies will change, but story will never.
( )
  soontobefree | May 1, 2017 |
An engrossing book that tells what it's like to be a black maid in Jackson, Mississippi during the 60's.
( )
  jenn88 | Apr 25, 2017 |
I really liked the book, but maybe watching the movie first kind of ruined it for me. I thought some of the characters were not as interesting in the book as in the movie. ( )
  CorTim2 | Apr 4, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 1279 (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 (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kathryn Stockettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlsen, MonicaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gram, CathrinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingrid VollanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamia, JennaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spencer, OctaviaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svendsen, Birgitte VictoriaIntroductionsecondary 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."
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(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 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 13 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0241950805, 0241956536

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