Wow, what a book. I am from the south, and I was 10 years old in 1963. I remember the Sears where my mother worked having a Colored and White Bathroom and a Colored and White water fountain. I remember the outside door at the theater that said colored and led to the balcony and our delight when they finally opened it up to everyone and we teenagers could sneak up there.
I was not one of the kids that had a full time maid or nanny that raised them, but I had friends that did. What this book did for me is fill in the gaps that I never knew. I saw what was going on, I heard it, but I never really understood it, and my parents were more like Skeeter, people were just people. Yes, we had a housekeeper that came once a week because my mother had to work full time. She cleaned our house, ate at our table, cooked our dinner that night and we visited her family at the holidays and took them a turkey at thanksgiving and wrapped presents at Christmas.
But I wonder now what else we did that I was not aware of. How did we treat her and others that was considered "normal" then? Were we guilty of the prejudice and segregation-ism that is portrayed in this book? I have to say probably because we were a product of our time. I can only say that I am no longer that product. Everyone should read this book. Everyone. It is so true, correct and real it could have been my town or any town in the south in 1963.
Ill be the first to admit that when an author writes in multiple voices it takes me a couple of chapters to keep everyone straight, with that being said, The Help is the exception. Katheryn Stockett clearly voices each character and smoothly transitions between them all in a way that has them portrayed more along the lines of real live people then just single dimensional characters in a book.
1962 Mississippi is no place to be, white, privileged Eugenia, more commonly known as Skeeter because of her likeness to a mosquito has recently returned home from college and much to her mothers disappointment there is no ring on her finger. Aibileen has just returned to working for a white family since the death of her own child and Minnie, the best cook in the county is quite hard pressed to find a family to work for since she has quite of habit of speaking her mind, something that a white family just wont put up with.
As each womans story is told a truer picture of the segregated south emerges. When they decide to work in unison to write a book from the black domestics perspective looking at the white families they have loved and served a whole new picture emerges. The fear of being discovered, of actual prison time becomes all to real, but its a story that has to be told. A story that in a way will free them all.
At times you will be shocked, mortified, and laughing out loud, these women will have you hearing what they have to say for a very long time.
I love love loved this book from the first page. Three points of view and a wonderfully developed story that grabs your attention immediately. It is the best thing I have read in a long time. Most books I have read lately, once I'm done and close the book the story simply evaporates, but this story was one I could not put down and it lingers fresh in my mind. I want to pick it up and read it all over again. It has many emotional turns, sometimes funny, sadness, and critical awareness.
I love Abilene, Minnie, Miss Skeeter, and I will never forget the hateful bully, Miss Hilly. Plus, many more memorable characters who sent me back to a place and time best not forgotten.
Bravo! I hope Kathryn Stockett continues to write great stories.
The is by far the most touching, best book I've read in 2009. What is it like to be a black maid in Missippi in the early 60's? In fact, what is it like to be a white lady that hires the "help" at that time. Are the feelings between you real emotions or colored by the circumstances. Which of you are influenced, even when you don't want to be, by your peers? The world of black and white are a'changing and they are going to affect each of you.
This book is emotional, funny, horribly true and I couldn't put it down. You will love and you will hate as you read this book and you might even be surprized at which emotion is aimed at which character.
Stunned by how wonderful this book was. The characters are unforgettable and their stories are riveting. Incredible that this is a book written by a first time novelist. One of the best books I've read this year. I hate to part with my copy, but feel this book should definitely be shared. Can't wait for her next book. Very highly reccommend.
I read this book in one sitting - that's how incredible it was. The characters popped off the page from page 1, the plot was clever and full of twists and turns, and the message was clear.
I can't believe this is the author's first book and I can't wait for her next one.
Blew me away.
Great book; I couldn't put it down. Wondering, though, what any African-Americans who've read it think about it (seeing as how the author is caucasian and part of the book reads from the African-American "help's" POV). Also, wondering if the author interviewed any living African-American maids or "help", or is it just based on her memories of the maid who raised her. (I know, I know: it's listed as fiction; but still...)
Awesome and amazing! Story of 3 women in the South of the 1960's. Two of the main characters are domestics, "the help" of the title. The third is a white woman from a well-to-do family who comes home from college with eyes opened to Civil Rights. She interviews anonymously "the help" to hear the story of what it is like to raise up someone else's white babies only to see them grow up racist. Moving story but also funny in spots.
Addictive from the very first page, this fiction novel examines what it's like to be black, white, rich, and poor in Mississippi during the early 60's. Told from the perspective of three very different characters, the book tackles racial, social, and class tensions with honesty and poignancy. I laughed, cried, and saw a part of myself in each of the characters.
I highly recommend buying this book; you will want to read it over and over again. Excellent debut from Kathryn Stockett.
Being mainly a mystery/thriller reader, this was way out of my comfort zone. However, I was a history major in college with a distinct interest in the Civil Rights Era. I had passed up this book numerous times because it just didn't sound like it was a book for me. When my grandmother read it and loved it, I knew I would have to read it as well. I have never been so glad to have read a book. This was such a wonderful and hilarious (at times) read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It was easily readable and likable, even when some of the characters weren't very likable at times. Definitely give this book a try.
Oh, and it will make you think twice about chocolate pie :)
Bravo! A most excellent gift from a new author. The individual narratives of several black maids set in 1960's Mississippi give voice to this time in history. When Skeeter, a young, white aspiring writer, wants to record their stories, drama ensues. Filled with humor as well as sorrow, you will have a hard time putting this book down as you find yourself involved in the lives of all the women in this story.
This is probably the best book I've ever read. Ms. Stockett captures the authenticity of the South and the relationships between the races. Her writing flows smoothly and the story is captivating; it's hard to put this book down. I highly recommend it!
Ladies, read this book, take some time, pick it up.. What a gem...Kathryn Stockett has lifted the "Cotton Curtains" to give us a glimmer of what the south was like in the 1960's from a view that is quite surprising. I laughed and cried at the same time..all women should read this book and hear the voices that have been silenced for years....then go see the movie..you will not be disappointed..Loved the book!
You'll laugh; you'll cry; you'll be outraged, and then you'll stand up and cheer! This is a GREAT southern fiction book about a white girl, Skeeter, who keeps company with a couple of black maids in Mississippi during the early 1960's. This is the first novel by the author, but I sure hope it won't be her last. I cannot more highly recommend this book to anyone! The only disappointment I had was when the book ended I found myself wanting to read more.
This fictional book shares with you the differences between blacks and white's in the Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960's. The ordeals that the maids had to endure and yet bite there tongues so not to be fired. I typically would not have chosen this book to read but when I saw the trailer for the movie it intrigued me. I just had to read this before I saw the movie and I'm glad I have. I was so wrapped up into the stories that I didn't want to put the book down. Quick read and highly recommend it.
If you're looking for a fast-paced adventurous read, well.. this isn't it. But if you like a slower, realistic story, you won't regret reading this one.
It is a story of several white families in what seems to be the late 50's/early 60's and their hired household help. It is told from the differing points of view of several of the characters, both black and white. Thankfully, the author doesn't resort to making her characters be the all-too-familiar quirky southerners who constantly spew little homespun nuggets of wisdom. The people in this story, and their manner and speech feels real.
In the beginning, I had to work to understnad what was happening however once I began to read the story became much more interesting. I began piecing together the points. About half way through the book I stated to really want to keep reading, the characters became real and alive. I began to understand their struggles. I felt empathy for all the domestics and began to put myself in their lives. I felt what they might have exoperienced.
I am so impressed by this novel. I wish I could give this book 10 stars and more. Words can't express the way that I felt when I finally got to the end of it. I just sat there thinking about all the characters. I felt as though I actually knew these people because they were developed so well. They jumped right off the page at you. She brought every single character to life. I enjoyed them all even Hilly with her evil self. Many of the white families were ignorant and didn't know any better. If you were a white child coming up during that time, you only knew what you've been taught. It was a blessing that many of the black domestics actually took the time to change some of the children's views about coloreds.
I can't believe this is the author's first novel. The story is so well written and much better than some of the novels that I've read by authors who have had several books published. There is only one other book so far that I've read within the past year that has had such a profound impact on me and that honor goes to Ms. Octavia E Butler's book Kindred. The Help has just been added to the list. This novel was absolutely amazing! If I could thank Ms. Stockett personally I would for writing such a beautiful story.
The author's descriptions of Jackson, Mississippi, the people and the times in which they lived during the 1960's are accurate. For anyone to say otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about or are just plain hating. I'm a 30 year old black woman so I didn't grow up during that time so all I know is what my own family has told me. My husband was born and raised in Jackson, Ms. He's only two years older than me so when I finished this book, I asked his mother about it and she stated that even though the story is fiction....Ms. Stockett hit the nail on its head and that she was right on about everything. She was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi as well as all her other relatives. She is reading the book now. It was nice to read about what actually might of happened versus reading what's in the history books. I loved the way Ms. Stockett incorporated some of the major events that happened during that era. She even got the vernacular of the people right. The author did an excellent job going back and forth between the many voices she had to write in. Some of my husband's people still speak like that to this day lol. I will probably be thinking about this book every time we go back to Jackson to visit his family.
I am so proud of this author for writing this novel and for not giving into to the fears she described in the (Too Little, Too Late) portion of the book. It was nice that she added her own words. She was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi so she knows what she's talking about. This is how she was able to provide much of the needed details that went into the book. You can tell that her heart and soul went into writing this novel. If you haven't read it yet, I would definitely go out and get it because if you don't then you're going to miss out on something really special! Thank you once again Ms. Stockett for writing such a beautiful story and I'll be one of the first in line to purchase your next book.
Each of the main characters who narrate THE HELP have their own distinct voice, history, and conflicts, which helped make this book richly layered and so much more than what its synopsis implies. Aibileen, Minny, and even Miss Skeeter will be your best friends, while the side characters also hold their own in this world. Even the âevilâ characters like Miss Hilly are fully realized, with all their hypocrisy, deeply rooted prejudices, and borderline horrifying penchant for vengeance. The tension builds throughout as the stakes mount, and you'll barely want to put this down, desperate to find out if everything will be alright.
Not everyone will love this book. Beyond the great writing, story, and characters is an uncomfortable tension with the real history, and that's the trouble with this book having been written by a white Southern woman. There are those who will probably be offended by the book's content, and there will also be those who have no problem with its nervous treatment of this sensitive part of American history. But there is no denying Kathryn Stockett's talent. THE HELP is an incredible achievement of voice and characterization. You can be assured that Stockett will stay on everyone's radars for a long time to come.
We have all read at one time or another of the plight of black people in earlier times. This is on the same subject but so different too. The lives of women, black, who take care of the white people's homes &children. A wonderful, well written story, but so true to what really went on. It's an eye opener. Highly recommend this book. You won't be sorry you read it.One I will keep on my bookshelf & share with others. Will be great for a book club.Someone should think about a movie from this novel.
What a wonderful book! I wanted this book to go on longer. I want to have these characters as friends (well, at least the main three). I would love to sit and have coffee with them. I recommend everyone read this book!
I've just finished this wonderful book. This story is very touching; sad in places, but full of hope. It's been a long time since I've read something that make me laugh out loud, but this book did that in more than a few places. We've come a long way and this book makes that point very clear.
I had a hard time stopping while reading this book. When I wasn't reading it I found myself thinking of the characters and wondering what they were going to do next. The plot was fantastic. I found all the characters fascinating. However, I do wish there was even just one chapter for Miss Hilly & Miss Celia. Aibileen was my favorite character. Her love for white people is amazing, she seems to have a heart of gold. Though Miss Skeeter and her "risks" are admirable. I find it different for Aibileen as she is the one who has been mistreated her whole life and could have had a heart such as Minny's in the beginning. I'm looking forward to Kathryn Stockett's future books. I imagine The Help will be hard to follow up.
I read The Help after seeing the movie. While I enjoyed the characters and the feel-good sense of three women trying to make a difference in early 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, the more palpable separation between the characters' lives and the broader context of the civil rights movement seemed more like a gloss over. Transitions between the first person perspectives of Aibileen, Minny, and (why the title?) Miss Skeeter were more drawn out than in the film, which also condensed the action into a shorter time frame. Nonetheless, I found the Help in novel form to be an inspiring, worthwhile read.
I ordered this book and received three copies by mistake. I wasn't dissapointed! I gave two to friends for Christmas because it was just a wonderful story. I loved the characters, from the maids to the women they worked for. I closed the back cover and couldn't help but wonder what happened to the women next. Wonderful read, thoroughly recommend it.
I can't believe it took me this long to get on board and read this book. I was completely engrossed and couldn't put it down, so I read it in one day. It's a compelling story with original and authentic voices. All of the characters come alive in this book. I think reading this book, too, would have been a different experience had I not been living outside Atlanta for the past 2 and a half years, where race relations and traditions are deeply entrenched and deeply disturbing. The only quibble I have with this book is that it seemed to lack a complete resolution--but maybe that was the point.
I love books told from different perspectives. The only thing I don't like about that is just when I'm getting into the story of one character - BOOM - we change to another! :)
I couldn't believe this was Stockett's first novel. What a wonderful story! At first I was a little put off by how Aibilene spoke - her grammar was hard to follow. But, wow, you soon forget that and just get into the story!
Lots of laugh out loud moments. As well as some very thought provoking moments. I didn't live through this time period and it really made me think of those who did, what they went through and how they lived.
I had these gals pictured in my head - every last one of them! Great story and a must-read!
I highly recommend this book as I found it to be very well written. The characters were likable, and well developed. There were points that I didn't agree with but who am I to argue? Right after reading "The Help", I read another book set in the 60's, "The Wednesday Sisters". It did not hold up too well in comparison to this 1.
I always get impatient with women who are too dependent upon men for their happiness and their reason for living. I know that it was very different in the past. I lived during those times myself. I also remember, vaguely, feeling similarly to the types of dependent women. But I grew out of that and my impatience with characters in books, stems from my own feelings.
I loved this book. I always feel books with multiple voices give you a broader view and this one did not fail. Once I started I could not stop reading and was up in the wee hours of the morning reading. My only problem with this book, it ended too soon. I pray that in my grandchildrens lives, we will have learned that people are the same no matter what their color, creed or financial standing.
This is the first book selected for the book club that I started for 2010. And I must say, I think it will be a VERY tough act to follow! This book was absolutely wonderful. I loved it! And I can't believe that this is Stockett's first book! It was so well-written, tightly and emotionally written that it seemed the work of a woman who has several bestsellers under her belt. I can't wait until she writes another book! The relationships in this book were so moving and seemed to speak with a real truth. And the different narrators and their voices! She did just as wonderful a job with this as Barbara Kingsolver did with _The Poisonwood Bible_. This book definitely deserves all of the many rave reviews that it has received. I am just so excited to discuss its many high points in my first book club meeting! I think that this will make a wonderful starting point - or really any point at all - for any book club.
I am also really relieved that the book was actually just as good - if not better - than I expected from all its great reviews (People Magazine's 2009 Book of the Year, thousands of 5-star ratings on Amazon and other review sites). It was a fast read, too... and so emotionally driven - I laughed out loud numerous times, and teared up in many places as well. Really, it was just wonderful! And I think she did a terrific job of bringing a turbulent time era to life. It was just an utter delight to read!
I loved this book - the dialogue was spot on... the story will suck you in and keep you interested for the entire story. While I was pretty young during the events of this book, I remember many of them like yesterday. This book addresses them from an entirely different viewpoint, one that rings very true. Three cheers for Minny, Abilene, and Skeeter! While the characters are fictional - I'm sure there were people just like them bravely making the way for a better life for everyone.
This was truly a beautiful and thought provoking story. I could not put this novel down. In essence, this is a story of race relations in Mississippi during the 60's. The Help refers to the colored women that worked as maids to affluent white women. The author grew up in Mississippi during this period of time which I believe gave her a great perspective from which to write such a touching story. At times, I laughed out loud, I simmered in disgust and I also shed tears. And portions of this book will stay with me, specifically when a maid secretly tells the white child in her charge the story of Martian Luther King; an alien that comes to this planet and is beautiful and wonderful in every way except people still hate him, only because he is green. The characters are well developed and the narrative is well written and easy to read. I highly recommend!
What an amazing novel, even more so for a FIRST novel! What an original, authentic narrative Ms. Stockett provides us. Hard to fathom that a time like this existed, but it certainly did. Beautifully layered story. One of my favorite books of all time.
This book is an awesome read! It really makes you realize how difficult the lives of African Americans were before and during the Civil Rights Movement. The bravery of the characters who stood up for total freedom is to be commended. Thank heavens that the times have changed and, hopefully, we look back in history and realize how wrong we were in our treatment of "the help". It is no wonder that this book has stayed so long in the number one spot on the best seller list.
This is a book that I will remember forever. I've read many books and even if I love them, they tend to drift from my memory soon after I finish the last page. This book is not one of them. It was incredibly well written, very touching, heartbreaking at times and powerful. The characters came to life and it's amazing how much emotion this story evokes, in so many different ways. Definitely a book that you don't want to pass up!
This is an excellent fictional work from a first time author about relationships between races in the south in the 1960's. It follows the lives of three young woman after college and some of the maids that have helped their families. Eventually one of the young woman questions her upbringing and begins to write a book about "The help". That books changes everyone's lives in this community in Jackson, MS.
I absolutely LOVED this book and didn't want it to end! I was a bit disappointed with the ending, but I think the author just left herself open for writing a sequel. The movie opens here this week and I will definitely be going to see it this weekend!
Amazing! I absolutely loved this book! For a first attempt, WOW, I am looking forward to what Kathryn Stockett comes up with next! I couldn't put this book down. Normally I probably wouldn't have chosen a book about the 1960s Civil Rights Era. However a friend recommended it to me and I thought I would try it. But this book was fascinating. I loved the way there were 3 distinct main characters and how the chapters were each written from the perspective of each of those characters. I did not find it confusing at all, because each character talked so differently that it was easy to keep track of who was who. I find it amazing that a white woman could so easily write about the lives of the black maids in Mississippi in the 1960s. The way she wrote their words, I could honestly hear them talking in my head. Very realistic! Loved it loved it loved it and would highly recommend!!!
This is an entertaining and poignant story of courage in the face of racial oppression in Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. I was completely torn between not being able to put the book down and not wanting it to end.
There's a real heroine in this book in the form of Skeeter Phelan. She graduates from college and is hoping for a a career in journalism. Most of her friends are married and have their own "help" working for them. As Skeeter witnesses how they are treating their "help", she sets in motion a chain of events that could spell disaster not only for her but for many of the maids working for these families. She begins to write a book about their experiences and enlists the aid of some of the same maids who work for her friends/family. This is where the story really takes off and what led me to stay up very late unable to put it down! I have bags to prove it.
I fell in love with the voices of the 3 main characters - Skeeter, Aibileen and my favorite Minny. I felt as though I actually knew these people. They were developed so well they jumped right off the page at you. I ached for the women who had to learn how to adapt to the pre-civil rights restrictions of their race. The stories of black servants and their white employers wrenched at my heart and created a bitter knot in my stomach. I cried and was genuinely affected by what I read. The attitudes of (most of) the white characters in this story are a real embarrassment to me. I know it's just a novel, but I also know these attitudes unfortunately are not just fiction.
This book is not just about race though. This book is about the struggle to find one's identity and the means of preserving that identity while trying to fit into society. Skeeter was a heroine as she took this journey and I rooted for her the whole way. I laughed, I cried, I held my breath and was captivated from beginning to end. If I had to say one thing that let me down Id say I was a little taken back by how abrupt the ending was. Parts of the story felt incomplete to me. I would have liked to know how Celia felt about what happened at the doctor (dont want to spoil it by saying more). Aibileen did she ever write again. It was as if the author had a tight deadline or maybe a sequel is in the works I would hope so. I do still highly recommend this book. Its definitely one of my all time favorites, proven by the fact that I will keep it and not offer it up for a swap.
This book started out for me slowly, but I kept with it. I read the last 200 pages in one day and up at 12:15 am writing this review. This is a must read. It shows the many sides of women and their help in early 1960's at all stages in life. Times were a changing and the outsiders in Jackson, MS found their voice and lead them to a better life. Life was cruel, but if you preserve it can be better.
I LOVE this book. I recommend it, and will probably read it again and again. The characters are all true and believable. The time described very accurately. My people were all from the south and I lived there during the 1960s. I can so relate to the way these southern girls were raised, "Stand up straight, and a lady NEVER carries a cigarette when she's walking." I laughed. I cried. I couldn't wait to get back to the story.
I've not read anything else buy Kathryn Stockett, but you can bet I will.
I have been hearing about this book for a long time. Now that the movie is out, I finally got around to reading it. Many times when you have high expectations, you end up disappointed. This book, however; lives up to the hype.
This is not just a book about the Civil Rights movement. It's about relationships, human nature and trying to find your place. Not only does it show how cruel white bosses could be to their help, there are also examples of positive, loving relationships between these women. It's a book everyone should read.
The Help is one of the best books I have read recently. It tells, in three woman's voices, a tale of black maids working for white families in the 60s in Jackson, Mississippi. There are many colorful characters in this book, the Junior League wanna-be who comes to an event in a revealing, sexy gown when the protocol is no cleavage. There's the loud mouthed black maid, Minnie, in an abusive relationship who finds a home in which to work as well as her sense of dignity. Included is the heiress who begins the whole idea of having maids anonymously tell their stories about their employment. The most touching part of the book for me was the relationships between the white children and their black nannies. Those tales were the best for me. This is an amazing first novel for Kathryn Stockett.
This book was alright. WAY TOO MUCH HYPE about it, in my opinion. It does not read like Gone with the Wind or To Kill A Mockingbird, and, in my humble opinion, is not a "must read." I was certainly able to put it down and pick it back up again without much effort, and I did not laugh or cry outloud. While the subject matter was interesting, there were too many loose ends for me. Not a "keeper" book for me; not sure that I would seek out another novel by this author. I will concede that the audio book is probably a better bet; might consider renting the DVD when it comes out, but wouldn't pay to see the movie, although I could certainly see Allison Janey and Mary Steenburgen reflected in the characters they portrayed. (Just as a point of reference, I thought Eat, Pray, Love was terrible - one of the worst books I have ever read.)
This book was an engrossing fictional account of the life of a domestic back in the turbulent sixties. It's main character took the bold step of writing a book about the domestic help and the challenges and injustices they faced as they worked and lived in Mississippi.
The Only thing I can say about "The HELP" is simply AMAZING!!! I loved the characters and the story. My grandma was from North Carolina and had "help". I could hear her voice in so many of the character's stories. Even though it was a harsh time in our history, HOPE for change always exsists. Do not pass this read up...WONDERFUL.
THIS IS A REALLY INTERESTING BOOK AND A CURL UP AND READ BOOK AS WELL.Luxury in a binding...
fULL OF WONDERFUL CHARACTERS,sKEETER,hILLY,aBIBLENE,mINNY,STUART,The characters take on civil rights in 1960's Mississippi and Skeeter and her tell all book about black maids in service to white families brings home the discrimination and pathos of a race who were not quite "humans" to their employers.
Set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you.
The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers.
The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams.
Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.If I could give this book a 10 star I would. The book was awesome and the movie stayed true to the book. In my personal library. A keeper for sure!
After all the hype, I had to take a bit before I read this one. When I heard the movie was coming out at the end of the summer, I knew I wanted to read it before the movie came out - so here it is.
Anyone who has not picked up this book - you are officially crazy. It does live up to all the hype! This complex story is told from three very different perspectives that help guide the story along its path. From 1962, a time when white women had help in their homes that consisted of black women that lived just beyond their privileged neighborhoods. The rare relationship that is formed between the women and between the help and the children of the home were written with perfect ease.
The relationship that Skeeter, Minny and Abileen form is unique. I loved how the story unfolded page by page. At first, I thought maybe the length was too much, but as I neared the end - I decided I was absolutely wrong. The length was perfect for the story that had to be told.
I would recommend this book to just about anyone. Of course, I think you should read it before the movie arrives in theaters in August.
I absolutely LOVED this book! The author made the main characters so real and you felt like you were right there with them through everything that was happening. Mae Mobley was the sweetest lil thing ever! How could you not love characters like these? Words cannot even explain the range of emotions I felt while reading this book and even though it is fiction.
I enjoyed this book, but felt some parts of it were very cliché . The 140 pages really seemed to drag for me, but the book picked up a better pace after that. I loved the main characters, but most of the secondary one seemed so two dimensional. I understand they aren't the main charcters, but they are in the story enough that I should have felt one way or the other about them. The author refers to the Awful Terrible thing Minny did and Skeeter's missing maid so many times, that I stopped caring what they were. I know it was to keep us guessing "what could be so bad?", but it was worn out. By the time we find out the answers I couldn't have cared less and was just glad I wouldn't have to read about them anymore. This would have been a 4 star book, if it wasn't for a choice Skeeter made. She expected the maids to give her true stories about the families they worked for. The bad, the good, and the ugly. No matter how dangerous it was to their own families. However once she finds out an ugly secret in her family, she decides it's too bad to put in the book. That made me lose a lot of respect for her character. While I'm glad I read ths book, I will never reread it.
I wish I could erase my memory and re-read this book. It was amazing. I loved it and read it in about 4 days. The author does a great job of developing the characters and really getting the reader to picture their lives and environment. A must read!
I really enjoyed this book, and the other members of our book club liked it as well. The reading was easy and flowed very well, keeping the attention of the reader. Some things discussed at the meeting; the bravery of the author (being a white women writing at times from the voice of black women), the writing structure (each chapter being assigned a different voice to represent a character in the story), which characters we all identified with, and the truths spoken out in this epic tale. I did not grow up during the time of the African-American Civil Rights Movement (19551968), but I certainly have seen in my lifetime racism and hatred towards people of different orientation and culture. I feel proud to have been raised in a family consisting of interracial marriages and gay/lesbian unions(the book did briefly touch on discrimination of homosexuals) . I am certainly not trying to unite the two, but rather compare to the ideologies that exist in society which are conducive to the segregation of our humanity. This is NOT to say that I never witnessed family members depict racism or hatred toward homosexuals in my company. This is to say that because I did and do share my family with all kinds of different people that I have an understanding towards different things and that I am comfortable with learning more things beyond my current understanding. The bottom line is that I'm not afraid. Isn't that the root of it all anyway? FEAR. The fear of understanding things we don't understand, fear of trying to understand things, and all because we don't understand them? It's a vicious cycle. In the book, many characters were driven by fear in their lives; what will people think? what will my friends think? what will society do to me? what will become of me if i think or live my life "outside of the box"? how can i keep my mouth shut and head low and yet maintain a sense of dignity? Some took hold of that fear and turned it, molded it, refined it into the very tool used to free the soul. Others, held onto that fear and let it drive them. When we let fear drive us , turning ourselves toward bitterness and hatred of fellow human beings it is a choice leading to the confinement of life, the repression and blind rapport with the segregation of self. Overall, I highly recommend this book. The Help, is a book that though is set in different times still holds truths that apply to today's world. We are different, but under the color of our skin, above our ideologies,despite our sexual orientation, and beyond our circumstances, we do all share a likeness in that we want to be accepted, loved, heard, believed in, and able to find happiness and freedom in all our lives.
I really loved this book. I thought each character was fully fleshed out and developed, especially the three main narrators. The town, the people living in it, the cliques, the social norms of the time, felt so real it seemed like I was living in that era while reading the book. And as a testament to Stockett's talents, I was relieved not to be actually living in that era and to only experience it while reading the book. My only complaint is that I felt the book was kind of anticlimactic and I would've liked to have had more closure with the main characters, and that one in particular, should've gotten more of a comeuppance. But I'm a sucker for happy endings and the ending in The Help was probably much more realistic. Still, a great read that I'd recommend to anyone.
I avoided this book for a LONG time fearing it would be dull trite or cliche. I found it to be none of the above. Instead it was a compelling novel full of wonderful characters that sucked me in from the first moment!
I love a book thats told from the perspective of different characters in the story, especially when they all have a unique voice. I think the relatable characters and their relationships make this story memorable. (Who hasnt known someone like Miss Hilly?) I hesitate to choose a favorite relationship in the story, but I was especially touched by the bond between Aibileen and May Mobley.
This book is thoughtful, encouraging, heartbreaking and hilarious at times. By the end of the book, I loved each of the main characters.
I liked the book, it was funny in parts and entertaining. It was not a "can't put it down" kind of story, but I would recommend it to others. Good character development and look at the good and bad of people.
Gorgeously written. A beautiful story of heart break, love and struggle. I love this book. It was so captivating from page one I was throughly entriged with 1960's Mississippi.
The author narrates the book in three distinct voices that are each perfectly done. I loved each of these women and their lives. They were all so different but, so completely entwined with one another.
Aibileen, The maid, the nanny, the cook, she was strong and dedicated to the children she took care of and loved often more than their mother. She wise beyond her education and was in many ways the matriarch of the book.
Minny, the best cook in the county, maybe mississippi with a smart mouth that kept her in trouble. She was one tough cookie, taking on all the burdens onto her shoulders. She could handle whatever was dished out to her except one thing....
Skeeter (Eugenia), The privileged junior leaguer...with a heart the desired more. She couldn't stomach the things she saw around her now in her hometown and sought out something more.
This is a book destined to be a classic, I can see it on assigned reading list for years to come. I would think it to be an incredibly difficult task to write in three different voices, but Kathryn Stockett does it amazingly well. The voices are clear and each personality is captured flawlessly in each voice she gives these beautiful ladies. You won't be dissapointed by reading this book I devoured it it does the heart good.
The Help was affecting and interesting to read. The characters were well fleshed out. I am always appreciative when literature introduces a comedic character but allows you to also feel strongly towards them, and this was how I felt about Minnie. She ended up being the one I truly felt for and rooted for, which was not at all the outcome I was expecting when first beginning the book. I was not crazy about the ending, which was the only hiccup. Some things were tied up in such a neat little bow it was a bit cheesy and I did not love that. And others pieces were left too open. It was uneven at the end. But overall, a fantastic commentary on racism in the South.
I never heard of this book till I saw a preview for the Movie and heard it was based on a book. The Movie sounded good so I thought I would read the book first. I have heard so many good things about the book that I went in with High hopes. My mom keeps asking for the book telling me that everybody says once you start reading it you cannot put it down. I did not find that to be true for me. It was a good book and well written and the subject is interesting but since my birth did not happen till many years later I could not relate to the subject. I think if you grew up during the time the book takes place you will be glued to the book and not be able to put it down
The setting of the book is Jackson, Mississippi during the early 60s. It is told by two Black Maids and a White Women. The story takes place over a couple of years and even though the author switches between who it is told by the story flows well.
I was a little disappointed by the ending. I would have liked to seen an epilog. Maybe she left it open for a follow up book. I felt I got to know that characters and would have liked to see how things worked out.
Loved, Loved , Loved this book. I do not read much fiction but when a good one comes along I enjoy it. These carectors ar so lovable. Not all of them..that Miss Hilly would drive me insane. I almost felt as though I was there in the room with them at points. It made me laugh out loud, cry, and giggle like a school girl at points. A very GOOD read.
An interesting perspective of the in the Deep South that is not often given. Set in the turbulent 50's and 60's with flashbacks to the 20's and 30's, the viewpoints of the servants is very enlightening. How these women specifically and men to a lesser extent deal with their employers, who at times are so disrespectful to them, is amazing.
This book is completely out of my normal reading genre, but with all I had heard I had to read it myself, and I have to say, I LOVED IT! This book is funny! Heartwarming, Angering, Heartbreaking and all at the same time, I found myself cheering and hoping for characters an wanting to slap some of them silly! I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a really great summer read!
I really loved this book! I was not sure if I would like it because a few people told me it was depressing but I didn't feel that way at all. I found the story inspiring and reads like a non-fiction. Happy Reading:)
Set in rural South in the 1960's, this book is a rather personal memoir of the lives of women on both sides of the racial divide. It is historically accurate in setting and language use; and of the narrative of events of the era... yet it failed to connect me to the characters. I understand the need to showcase this which was (and is) one of the most important moments in American Modern history, but as a novel it did not appeal to me as a reader.
This is the reason it is here, being swapped.
I am completely sure it will make the rounds of book clubs and readers clubs for YEARS to come; and it will spark debates about racism and its roots and how it affects our lives; this I welcome and quite likely will participate in.
wonderful story, takes you way back into the time period. I got to know all the main characters and was eager to see what would happen to them. I found myself hating mrs hilly and waiting for her to get what every bully deserves.
A fabulous, heartfelt story!! great read!!
LOVED this book!!!
I cant wait for it to come out in paperback as I will be giving it to all of my girlfriends (unfortunately not due out in paperback until Spring 2011).
It is a heartfelt story that is so well written, witty, bright, and eye- opening. The times were very different (not that long ago) in the south and the stories - as told by "The Help" are surprisingly hilarious, uplifting, and delightful.
This is truly the only book my club has read where everyone truly enjoyed it. Enjoy! :)
This narrative in three voices, giving biracial perspectives on the intricate relationships between upper-class white women and their Negro domestic help in Jackson MI in the 1960's is a book I could hardly put down. In turns, it had me laughing, crying, and fearing for the safety and well-being of the lives of the main characters. For any mid-lifers or older with ties to the south, this book will take you back to the stark realities of the civil rights era; for younger readers, it will be a compelling read into a page out of the history books. My description does not do "The Help" justice--after finishing this book, the three main characters (one white, two black) have endeared themselves to me so much that they live on in my mind. Hurrah, Kathryn--you done yourself proud with this one.
I really enjoyed this book! I loved how Kathryn told the story in several different voices, which gave you the points of view of different people. When the book ended, I felt like I really knew the characters and I didn't want the book to end. For me, it was a book that was hard to put down.
Ok, so I really really liked this book. It is a wonderfully told story and I especially like how it shows Skeeter's growing awareness that how these women are actually being treated is not right. I loved seeing her go from wanting to write a book to help herself to actually writing a book that will help these women.
This is a fantastic look back into the lives of women in the 1960s during the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. We see through the eyes of the black maids and learn about the lives they live, both as part of lives of the white families they serve and their own personal lives. We also get a glimpse of the white women's world through the eyes of a young radical, a young woman learning to buck the system and realizing that the status quo in her part of the world should no longer be upheld. It might be easier to relate to the black women, the working women, rather than the white women, to whom social acceptance is the pinnacle of their own lives. An intriguing look back in history and an amazing story about women.
I really enjoyed this book. Loved the authentic Southern setting and all the rich details. Very interesting look at a different era and the similarities and differences between the well-to-do white women and the black women who worked for them. I highly recommend!
This is well-written, and a pleasure to read. The story starts just a little slowly but in no time you're sucked in, reluctant to put it down to go to bed or go to work. The hype of the movie made some parts of the book seem sluggish, but in reality the story needs to be deep, in order to be satisfying. The characters are well-formed and believable. Even when you don't want to find a character sympathetic, at the end you want to know more about how the children turned out, and what happened to each woman.
At over 500 pages this book is pretty hefty but I probably would have read it in one day if I didn't have other things to do.
I read this book because I wanted to see the movie, not I'm not so sure if I still do... I don't think Hollywood could do the characters and the story justice. There is so much depth and emotion in this book. It's really a beautiful read and it will stick with me for a long time.
Excellent! I'd have to highly recommend to almost anyone. I admit that in the beginning, I thought if Hilly wasn't a bigoted bitch she'd probably be a nice person, but it soon became clear she was just a bitch!
Sometimes when I watch a film before I read the book, Im a little disappointed by the book, but I believe both were perfect in their depictions. The book simply heightened the feels I already had with the movie.
Gorgeous Copy, like new. Skeeter a young white woman finds out that black people are not treated equally in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. She sets out to avenge for her black friends but they avenge all for themselves.I laughed a lot while reading this book, because the blacks got such good revenge on the mean whites.Skeeter writes the town newsletter and was asked BY Dallas Bryce Howard's character a stuck up, nasty white woman to collect coats for blacks in Africa.Skeeter puts toilets in the town newsletter. so Miss Stuck up gets hundreds of toilets in her front yard.
Best book I have read in a very long time! It captures your attention from page 1 and holds it until the very end. Some of the plot twists and storyline was a little contrived, but overall this was a great read.
I really, really enjoyed this book. I lived through this era in Mississippi and had a wonderful lady who worked for us and took care of our five children. To others this might be just a good book to read. To me, it was what was really happening. My highest compliments to the author for such a poignant story for my entire family.
Let me start out by saying this is a very long book. The story takes a long time to develop. But it is completely wonderful and highly recommended. What a beautiful story. Definitely one of the best summer reads. Go for it!
The story-telling in this book was captivating. Initially I was not sure that the topic would be all that interesting, but once started, the story takes you in and it is difficult to set the book down. Stockett is a gifted story teller no doubt. Although fiction, the accounts of the maids and their travails are probably not far from much of what was going on at the time. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, the characters, the plot. I cannot wait to see what else the author will write. Best book I'vd read in a while!
This book it absolutely wonderful. The characters are so indepth that since I ended the book I am missing my "friends." One of the best novels I have ever read. It was moving and disturbing and so honest that it makes one ashamed of our world 40 years ago. Written so beautifully that I cannot wait until this author writes more.
I had no idea what this book was about by the title. The 'hired help' is the point.This was a fascinating behind the scenes view of people behaving badly, in the southern states no less.It all takes place in the early sixties just as race relations where heating up and getting smoothed out. Brave people. An excellent read.
what a wonderful story !!! quite an insite for someone who never grew up with the racial issues and an accurate remembrence for those who did...lines are drawn between black and white.. the upper crust and the servant help. told from the side of the help this makes you think and relate to the women and their lives..loved it
For the first few pages, I wasn't sure I was going to like this book. Boy did that change! I ended up urgently reading a chapter in every stolen moment I could. I was so enthralled by the story, saddened to realize that this is really the way it was for so long (and those attitudes unfortunately still exist in some today) and I really, really wanted the maids to come out on top. This book will take you thru a whole range of emotions. I just wish it would show up on the required reading lists at the high schools around the country. This book is a stark reminder of why we must never lose sight of the Civil Right advances that have been made and the sacrifices it took from so many to get there. Truly a book that makes you stop and think before you just blindly accept the attitudes/judgments/etc of other people towards a particular race, religion, ethnicity.
I LOVED this book! I have a sort of sad fascination with this period of southern history - this shameful time in our not-so-distant past where the races were legally kept separate by Jim Crow laws in the South. When people, both black and white, finally were able to start breaking down these artificial barriers society had created and the horrible violence that was perpetrated by some southerners - especially awful because justice was usually not met despite good evidence and general knowledge of what had occurred.
This period of time - the early 60s in Jackson, MIssissippi, the city where Medgar Evars was blatantly, horribly murdered - is portrayed in this book from the perspectives of three women, two black housekeepers and one white woman who aspires to be a writer. She wants to write a book about "Domestic houseservants & their white employers" and persuades one woman to write about her own experiences of raising white children, in particular.
There were laugh-out-loud, as well as heartbreaking moments in this book, but all-in-all it was a very edifying experience! Highly recommended!
I don't always agree with the popular opinion when many people think a book is great, but in this case, I really do! This book was well written and really puts you back into that time, even with the language used. It really makes you think about how hard it was back then and how you would react in certain circumstances. The only thing I would have really liked more, was if they had added a little at the end on Minny and Aibileen's life after all that.
I highly recommend this book to anyone.
GREAT book, loved the story, loved the characters, it was intersting and kept me wondering what was going to happen next. I am glad i was not aware of the racial tension when I was growing up in NY, it is a disturbing piece of our history that I am not proud of. Fantastic book, glad i read it.
Despite all the hype, this proved to be a good, compassionate book offering a window on a time and life most of us do not know. While superficial at times, it offers a beginning point for good dialog on what true opinions on race were in the south at the time--not hystericalized, but just ordinary people's daily views.
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said? I feel obligated to write something about it since it's one of the best books I have read in years.
I was drawn in from the first page. The entire novel is riveting. The characters are wonderful, and it's such a great story that needed to be told.
I waited a year and a half to get this book on PBS, and was still waiting when I finally caved in and bought it for myself. I wish I hadn't waited so long to make that purchase! I almost always post my books here when I'm done reading them, but this one won't be leaving my house. I rarely re-read a book since I ascribe to the "too many books, too little time" philosophy, but even though I finished this book last night, I already want to pick it up and re-read it! I wish I'd bought the hardcover version instead of paperback since this one is a keeper and will become a classic of American literature.
All I need to know now: When will Ms. Stockett be writing her next novel?
Let me add my voice to the thousands of others who praise this book. I chose not to see the movie before reading the book, so now I'm ready to see it. This is one of those books where you grow to love (or despise) the characters and seeing the movie will help keep them "alive" a bit longer.
You'd have to be living under a rock to not have heard of the book, so I won't spend time on the plot, but will simply say THANK YOU, KATHRYN STOCKETT for a thoroughly engrossing novel and for handling the subject with such refreshing candor and sensitivity. Please write more!
I could not put this book down. What a wonderful first novel. I have never lived in the south, but I did live through the 1960's, and this book is very eye-opening. Though completely fiction, the events that take place, are very believeable. A young white woman,Skeeter, comes home from college and sees the people in her social circle for the first time. Through the brave black maids who work for the women in that circle, a book is written, in their own words. The backlash and fears and yes, even humor and sadness kept me from putting the book down except to sleep. I loved it.
Its 1962 and Eugenia (Skeeter) Davis has just graduated from Ole Miss without her MRS degree much to her mothers chagrin. She returns to her plantation home in Jackson, Mississippi. Shes sad to return there but looks forward to seeing the maid who raised her, Constantine. Only Constantine is gone and no one will tell her what really happened.
Skeeters goal in life is to be a writer and to that end, she applied for an editor position with a magazine in New York. Although, she had no where near enough experience for the position, the person who received her resume called her and gave her some sound advice get a job writing at a newspaper, no matter what the position and write about things that could be controversial.
Skeeter takes the advice to heart and gets a job at the local paper writing the housekeeping hints and tips column and begins to search for a controversial topic to write about.
Of course, Skeeter has no idea how to answer the household hints letters. She enlists the help of her friend, Elizabeth Leefolts, maid, Aibeleen. Aibeleen is raising her 17th white child. After her first white child, she has deliberately chosen to only raise the children until they reach the elementary school age and then she moves on to a new family. She is also mourning the death of her only son who died when his bosses looked the other way and didnt get him the medical help he needed quickly enough.
One of Aibeleens best friends is Minny Jackson. Minny is the best cook in the county, but shes a mouthy woman. Something that doesnt sit well with her bosses and her last boss is one of the most influential women in Jackson and shes made it nearly impossible for Minny to get a new job. She finds a job working for a woman, Celia Foote, so new in town that she doesnt know about Minnys reputation. Plus, Celia has her own secrets and is pretty much rejected by the Jackson society women which is strange considering who her husband is.
Skeeter comes up with an idea for a book writing in first person, about being a black woman serving in the white households. After much work, Aibeleen agrees to be a subject for the book and Skeeter is thrilled that her mentor has agreed to help publish the story, but Skeeter is going to need to talk to at least a dozen black maids to write the book. Aibeleen helps her to gain other maids confindence to tell her their stories.
This is a very dangerous story to tell. Skeeter cant let anyone know what she is doing and the maids most certainly dont want their bosses to find out they were contributing to the story. And, then her mentor tells her there is one last thing she has to get for the book the story of her maid, Constantine. And, she is having a hard time getting that story out of anyone in either community.
The story is told in three voices: Skeeter, Aibeleen and Minny. The flow between all the womens story is very well done. The indignities that all three endure for not conforming to their role in society often made me mad. I found myself not wanting to put the book down. In fact, I stayed up reading until after 3:00 am on a work night just finish it.
You have to read this book. I sailed through it-Throughly engrossing, written from three different women's point of view-You finish this book with a better understanding of what it was (and still is?) like to be a black woman raising white women's children-Well written-Hope that Ms. Stockett writes another soon.
This was bittersweet. I laughed and cried with Skeeter, Abilieen, and Minny. What I found was many of the popular goods ended up having redeeming qualities. Mrs. Hilly didn't have any. I suppose there is always the popular girl who never changes.
This is a book that draws you into the South during the 60's. How a white, college educated woman decided to tell the stories of the colored domestics and the repercussions.
Fascinating from a historical perspective, a woman's perspective and a "suck you in you have to finish this story" perspective!
One of the best books I've read in a long time. It had my attention right from the start and moved quickly. It was an enjoyable read and I felt a lot of emotion for all the of characters. Highly recommended.
This is the first book that was universally finished and enjoyed by every member of my book group. I will never forget these characters and loved discussing the themes of mothering, the power of stories, connections between women, and race and class issues.
This book was a fast read and the characters and description of Mississippi in the 1960s is very educational as well as great reading. Growing up in New England during this time, the experiences of the women depicted in the book were far from any frame of reference I might have had but because of that discrepancy, the book moved me in many ways.
Loved this book, the story was so engaging and made you think alot. The dialogue takes a chapter or two to get the hang of but then you are so into the story that you don't notice it. Wonderful, makes you want to know what happens after the book ends! Don't miss this book
Absolutely incredible! A 'must read' list topper!
The movie was so entertaining I did not eat my popcorn! Forgot about the bag on my lap until I spilled it as I got up when the movie ended. Acting, storyline, stunningly wonderful!
This book was such a doorway into the relationship to these womaen in a time we have very little understanding about. The south at this time was not a very pleasant place for a "negro" woman to live. But, that being said, that time in period does not work without these two groups of women working hand in hand to raise the southern children. The relationships and personalities really were amazing in Stocketts book. I enjoyed it immensely as a woman and mother.
I just finished this book and I'm crying buckets. Having grown up in the 60s with a black maid this book hit so close to home for me that it was scary. It inspired me to write a letter to Dorothy, our former maid telling her how much she touched my life and how much she is loved to this day. The letter was long overdue.
Thank you to Kathryn Stockett for what is the most wonderful book I've ever read. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll feel as if you know the characters as if you lived in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960's.
I can't wait to read more from Kathryn Stockett. I'd say this is easily the best book of the year, if not the decade!
I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie, and boy am I glad that I did! I simply could not put this book down! At first I was taken by surprise that each chapter was in the voice of a different main character, but I loved the first person account of each story and how they intertwined. They were so rich and multidimensional. This was the first book that I have read in awhile where I truly cared about the characters. Though fictional, is it a fascinating read into the lives of people and tumultuous times in The South during the 1960s. I didn't want it to end. Now I can't wait to see the movie.
I agree with most of the other reviewers that this book is so good that you won'[t want to put it down. The characters seem so real. This is first bestseller that I have liked in a long time. It is hard to believe we all lived through those sixties. I surely hope things have changed for everyone now.
I started this book with the suspicion that it was going to be a story that would be powerful and compelling but also hard to read and I was right. 1962 Mississippi is a very different place than what we are used to now. Women are expected to get married and have children after finishing college, not seek careers. The womens rights movement hasnt even begun yet, but the civil rights movement is starting. All across the country, heinous crimes are being committed against black people who dare to break the laws as written by white government. The act of sitting in the wrong seat on a city bus or using a whites only bathroom could result in a near-death beating. White people who speak up for black people or who try to help with the civil rights movement are arrested or imprisoned as well. Its a very different society than today, a very scary society.
This story centers primarily around three women. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan who has just returned home from Ole Miss to discover the maid who raised her is no longer with the family and nobody will tell her what happened. Aibileen Clark is a black maid working for Skeeters friend, Elizabeth Leefolt. She has suffered in her life and now devotes her heart and soul to the white children she now raises. Minny Jackson is Aibileens best friend and works for another of Skeeters friends, Hilly Holbrook. Minny is outspoken and has lost several jobs because of it, including her present job. The only job Minny can secure now is with Celia Foote, who is considered socially unacceptable and doesnt know about Minnys reputation.
Initially, Skeeter begins interviewing Aibileen for assistance on writing a cleaning advice column for the newspaper. After a publisher in New York City tells Skeeter to write about something that concerns her, especially if it doesnt concern anyone else, she begins interviewing Aibileen on what it is like to be a black maid cooking and cleaning and raising white children. I got a very good sense of how dangerous it was for Skeeter and Aibileen to be meeting and if they were caught, how much trouble they would both be in. The project eventually catches the interest of several of the other maids and Skeeter begins interviewing them as well.
I loved this book. I felt like I was in the room with Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. These characters are people you can care about. The author draws you in and you get to know the characters and begin to relate to and empathize with them. It wasnt enough to read about what these women were doing, the story pulls you in so deeply that you feel like you are really there. When Medgar Evers is shot, I could feel the fear and apprehension Aibileen and Minny felt for their own lives and the lives of their children. I felt extreme anger at Hilly Holbrook and her bigoted attitude. I wanted to slap her into the middle of next week. I felt disgust at Elizabeth Leefolt for the way she treats her children. This book made me mad, made me laugh and made me cry. I recommend this book if you are looking for a book about people who cross all barriers to tell the truth, no matter how difficult or the cost.
Since I'm a reader usually of mysteries and like a fast moving book, this took some getting used to. It didn't move very fast and it takes a bit to get used to the accent used throughout the book. I enjoyed it but it's not the type of book you can't put down until the last couple of chapters. For a lazy summer read with napping in between, it's perfect.
I loved the book. The characters were well developed and interesting. I was just a teenager living on the West Coast in 1962 and had no idea this was the way of life in the south. This brought to light why there was so much unrest in the south. It explains a lot. I normally read in the evening before retiring but one day I didn't have much to do and spent the entire day reading the book. That's how much I enjoyed it. I am also not putting it back on Paper Back Swap as I know I want to read it again.
A glimpse of the life of privileged young white women in the Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960's when segregation was a fact of life and an educated black woman could still be just a maid and a caregiver. A unique three-person account to help us understand the ordinary and the overlooked, the condescending manners of one side and the forced acceptance of a life without freedom of expression on the other -- when we might take if for granted as an American right. And the women who woke up to the possibility of making a difference, at a terrible risk to their own safety. With the background of the Freedom Marches and Mr Evers assassination to remind us of this time in history. The success of the story is it's ability to draw us effortlessly into the lives of these women, although set 45 years ago, allowing us an appreciation of gems of timeless wisdom and a discomfort with a prejudice that was never quite resolved.
I would definately recommend this book. Once I started it I didnt want to put it down. It definately draws your attention right from the beginning. The author has such a way of writing that you begin to feel a connection to the characters. I hope the author comes out with more books because she's a wonderful writer.
Loved this book. Best book I've read in a long time and I didn't want it to end. I would highly recommend it. I can't wait to see the movie when it hits the movie theaters in August 2011. I was amazed it was this authors first book, as she writes so well. A must read! :)
To describe my reaction to this book in one word: WOW. And this is the authors DEBUT novel! She has such a gift for storytelling. I decided to read this book after seeing LibraryLoves review of it last month.
My first historical fiction piece in a long time, this book had me so engrossed in every character. I love seeing the story from more than one view and empathized with every woman. I found myself in awe of Aibileen and Minny and their strength and perseverance to continue to put up with what they had to. And Skeeter, well she was very brave and honorable to use her talents to make a difference.
Its amazing what women can do when they push past stereotypes and what society says and come together for a mutual cause. The Help is a wonderful example of women keeping the faith and fighting together, no matter what. I definitely recommend this book and will be looking forward to seeing what Kathryn Stockett writes next!
This book kept me up at night wondering what was going to happen next. I love books that cross back and forth between fiction and non fiction. This one did it well. Left me wanting to read real accounts of actual help from that time period. A must read.
Great book! Absolutely enthralling, poignant, funny and a bit suspenseful. Written from a few different points of view, it is a story of African-American housekeepers in 1960's Mississippi. The characters are so real you feel like you know them.
This is the best book I have read in years! I can't recommend it enough! I would compare it to the writings of Carson McCullers, Harper Lee, Truman Capote and even Margaret Mitchell. The story grabs you and doesn't let you go. The theme is the indomitable will of human beings to survive against all odds - because of the color of their skin. The pure, down and out snobbery of the white ladies who become dissatisfied with their maids and proceed to ruin their lives is portrayed vividly. The desperation of the maids' circumstances is truly touching. I have laughed and cried my way through this book and plan to re-read it. I highly recommend this book because it is going to be talked about as the best book of the year.
Set in the early 60's during the height of civil rights unrest, this novel is the story of a young, priveleged white college grad who who decides to compile the stories of African-American maids. Told from the perspective of thw young writer and two of the maids, what emerges is both humorous and harrowing. Very enjoyable.
This is a good book but I read better books written this year. That the book was written by a first time novel writer is impressive. The characters are well developed and one does feel like one knows Skeeter, Minny and Aibileen by the time the book ends. One should read it to be knowledgeable about it in reading circles because so many people are reading it and really like it.
I was raised in the south during the time period of this book. It was amusing - I loved the dialect of the blacks, so true to the times. Great story of overcoming obstacles and makes us realize how just one person can make a difference in cultural changes that must be made. I really appreciate that we have come such a long way since that time.
Funny, sad, a lesson to be learned - really enjoyed the book!
The language is a little difficult to read and there are numerous characters - some are important parts of the story and some are not, but you don't know if they will be and it's difficult to keep track of them all. I started making a list and it helped to reference it to refresh my memory of who they are. I really grew to love Aibileen and Minny and miss them now that I'm done with the book. I learned a lot from them.
This was the April pick in my online book club, The Reading Cove. Think it was a good look inside the dynamic of black maids working for white families in the 1960's, but I felt it could've been at least 100 pages shorter; the middle was really long-winded. And the Ebonics were too inconsistent, to the point of being distracting/jarring at times as I read the story.
Aibilieen, Minny, and Skeeter worked together to write a "tell-all" book about the black/white domestic divide in Jackson, Mississippi, at great risk to everyone involved.
I found it poignant at times, and really felt sorry for Aibileen, losing her son. Skeeter was a dignified young woman and I liked that she remained faithful to the maids and never let them down. She was naive, but she was in her early twenties, so that's to be expected.
I got a bit annoyed with Skeeter for the way she allowed Hilly Holbrook to railroad her for much of the book, but I was glad when Skeeter finally showed some spine and stood up for herself!
Good story that leaves you thinking long after you've turned the last page. It ends as if a sequel was in mind...and that would be good, because I'd read it!
Easy read. The author gives an inside look into the life of domestic help in the 60s prior to the civil rights movement. We meet "the help" and see their challenges. You come to care about the characters which are well developed. I am a Southerner and even so, I gained some insight into what life was like for "the help" in that era. Insightful,I would recommend it.
I really loved this book.I couldnt put it down.I loved the characters They seemed so real.
I would defiantly recommend this book.I also felt for the characters.This book also had some funny things in it that made me laugh.this book transports you back in time so you feel like you are there.I hope this author writes another story since this one was so good.
I almost didn't finish this book because it was due at the library today and I still had 300 pages to read. It'll only end up being a day late, and it was definitely worth the fine!
Stockett uses the narratives of two colored maids and a white woman living in the 1960's to tell the stories of "the help." Each character is written in her own dialect and at first I found it slightly difficult to follow at times, but then I heard each character's voice in my head, and it all ...more I almost didn't finish this book because it was due at the library today and I still had 300 pages to read. It'll only end up being a day late, and it was definitely worth the fine!
Stockett uses the narratives of two colored maids and a white woman living in the 1960's to tell the stories of "the help." Each character is written in her own dialect and at first I found it slightly difficult to follow at times, but then I heard each character's voice in my head, and it all fell into place.
It's no secret America suffered from narrow minds and segregation. I am fortunate enough to be born after the Civil Rights Movement, but Stockett took me back to the 1960's and helped me get a glimpse at what it could have been like for individuals of the time. (I say could, because no one ever knows for sure what it is like to walk in someone else's shoes). Every neighborhood has an outspoken/opinionated leader, someone who doesn't fit in, someone who appears crazy on the outside, someone silently suffering, and the list could go on. Stockett portrayed each and every one of these characters to a degree where I felt I was sitting in the room sharing iced tea with them.
I would love to say that the America of 2010 has left behind the closed-mindedness of segregation, but it hasn't. Yes, African Americans are no longer required to shop at separate grocery stores or go to "colored hospitals," but Americans continue to fight for civil rights. I hope that readers of The Help not only gain an appreciation for how times have changed, but recognize how much America still has yet to accomplish.
I'm ashamed to admit I don't remember much from Uncle Tom's Cabin, other than I read it in high school and it portrayed an colored family, but The Help is the next Uncle Tom's Cabin. Every high schooler should be required to read it! (and then make their parents read it too!)
The Help is an excellent book. Not only is the story compelling, but it also opened my eyes to what life was like not so long ago in the south. As I read this book and came to know the character, I seethed at the words and actions of some of them and cheered for those standing up to them. The Help is humurous, inspiring, and sad at the same time. There are parts that will warm your heart as well as break your heart. I highly recommend this book.
I have been wanting to get my hands on this book for quite a while. Then when the movie came out I really had to get a copy. I'd heard such great things about the book and couldn't wait to read it.
I did like the book. The story really makes you think. It amazed me how some of the people acted. I would get so mad at them, it doesn't matter to me that this was how things were, it still made me so angry sometimes. Even Skeeter who was trying to do such good was so idiotic sometimes. I just wanted to smack her. I liked Skeeter but she was so naive, even when she started to open her eyes to what was going on she still seemed to have no idea.
I loved Aibileen, she seemed like the kind of person you could talk to for five minuets and feel like you've been friends forever. And although Minny needed her butt kicked a few times I really liked her to. She was a no nonsense take it or leave it kind of person, and unfortunately for her many people chose to leave it.
This book made me cry, made me angry, made me happy, made me sad, made me laugh, and made me laugh so hard I cried. It was easy for me to get lost in the story, I could vividly see what was happening. What I think I liked the most was that not everyone got a happy ending. I love a feel-good story, but at some point it becomes so unbelievable that it almost feels like an insult. Real-life is hard and not everyone gets the happy ending all the time. That really was refreshing for me. It seems as if most of the "popular" books that I read all end with everyone getting exactly what they wanted.
Now that I've finally read the book I can't wait to see the movie! Hope they did at least a half-way decent job with it.
A new classic has been born. Kathryn Sockett's "The Help" will live in hearts and minds, be taught in schools, be cherished by readers. The three women who form its core, idealistic Skeeter, loving Aibileen, and sarcastic, sassy Minny, narrate their chapters each in a voice that is distinctive as Minny's caramel cake no one else in Jackson, Mississippi, can duplicate.
These stories of the black maids working for white women in the state of Mississippi of the 60s have an insiders' view of child-rearing, Junior League benefits, town gossip, and race relations.
Hilly is the town's white Queen Bee with an antebellum attitude towards race. She hopes to lead her minions into the latter part of the century with the "enlightened" view of making sure every home in Jackson, Mississippi, has a separate toilet for the help. Her crusade is, she says, based on clear hygienic criteria, which will save both blacks and whites from heinous diseases.
Despite the fact that the maids prepare the food, care for the children, and clean every part of every home, privy to every secret, many of the white women look at their black maids as an alien race. There are more enlightened views, especially those of Skeeter, a white, single woman with a college degree, who aspires to more than earning her MRS. Skeeter begins collecting the maids' stories. And the maids themselves find the issue of race humiliating, infuriating, life-controlling. Race sows bitter seeds in the dignity of women who feel they have no choices except to follow their mamas into the white women's kitchens and laundries. Aibilene says, "I just want things to be better for the kids." Their hopes lie in education and improvement, change someday for their children.
There is real danger for the maids sharing their stories as well as danger for Skeeter herself. The death of Medgar Evers touches the women deeply, making them question their work and a decision to forge ahead, hoping their book can be published anonymously and yet not recognized by the very white women they know to the last deviled egg and crack in a dining room table.
The relationships between the maids and the white children, the maids and some kind employers, including "white trash" Cecilia Foot, illuminate the strange history of the South. The love Aibileen shows for Mae Mobley matches the love Skeeter felt as a white child from her maid-nanny Constantine.
There is never a dull moment in this long book. It is compulsively readable while teaching strong truths about the way the United States evolved from a shameful undercurrent of persistent racism to the hopes and dreams of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. Ultimately, will the next generations children learn (and be taught) that skin color is nothing more than a wrapping for the person who lives within?
What more can I say to all the glowing reviews of this book that have gone before?? It's excellent and a wonderful read. I am definitely NOT going to repost it, I'm keeping it! The book is better than the movie, which was excellent. I watched it again after I read the book.
The minute I started reading the first page, I was drawn into the lives of this group of people. The story is so rich and moving, I couldn't put it down for a second for wanting to know what happens next in their lives.
What a great book. The uneasy relationships and the tender moments all got to me. What a fabulous first novel. When people are urged to write about what they know, Katheryn shows here how that pays off. She knew half this story and learned about the rest well enough to tell a convincing tale.
I only knew one family with a maid. Growing up in Chicago in a middle class neighborhood wasn't the place to see much of that. Before I was old enough to know any different, I thought it was awesome that someone was PAID to do all the stuff my Mom needed to do just because she was married to my Dad! Actually, at the time I think Mom thought it was wonderful that the maid down the street got to confine her 'work day' to 8 hours and head out for home. The concept of being raised by someone other than my mother isn't so foreign however. I had an extended family under one roof that consisted of aunts who loved me for the parts of me Mom could not relate to. The more people children have in their lives, the better the chance that someone will each them about it not all being about the 'color of the wrapper'. This one will stick with me.
I found the book easy to read although I know some people had a hard time slipping into the dialog of Minny and Aibileen.
I cried, and laughed hard while reading. Eye opening at how people treat "help".
I really enjoyed this book. The characters come alive within the first few pages and you think about them even when not reading the book. It is enjoyable to read, but it delivers a message to make you think. Good for your soul and mind.
It is about black maids working for snotty white people in the 1960's. The setting is Jackson, Mississippi. THese are the most prejudiced white people that I have ever encountered. The book is written by a white girl ( Skeeter) in Jackson, Mississippi who comes home from college to find out her mother fired her beloved black nanny, because the Nanny's daughter shows up and the daughter is white. Skeeter's mother fires the nanny because the daughter of the nanny helps herself to refreshments at a "white" women's social function. These black maids have a sense of humor and you find yourself laughing.
This is a wonderful book. I've seen the movie 3 times and it gets better every time I see it. But this book is even better. I saw the movie all 3 times before reading the book. It was nice having a face to put with the people in the book. My husband saw the movie with me and is now reading the book. You will laugh & cry. A MUST READ!
This is the fastest I have made it through a book since I had my daughter. It held my attention and I felt like I couldn't put it down, but in the end I felt, like many others based on other reviews I've read, that something was missing.
I feel like this story did have its moments. Parts that hit close to home for me and I couldn't put it down. I'm honestly not sure why I didn't like it as much as I feel I should have. It is an easy read. I'll be honest I only picked it up because a friend of mine recommended the movie, this might have been some of the problem. I prefer to read the book before ever seeing the movie.
I was raised In the 60's and my mother and grandmother was one of those women,cleaning,cooking and raising babies and I can remember how It was and the book was very accurate,the difference is that my state is florida,really good reading,a real page turner.
I was so glad I put this on my wish list. When I added it, there was over 1000 before me so I had to wait a while but it was definetly worth the wait. I really enjoyed it. I don't usually read these kind of books. I was shocked how fast I read this book. I fell in love the characters. It's such an easy read with never a dull moment.
Absolutely amazing... I give this one 5 stars!! Didn't want to put this one down. Kathryn Stockett captures the readers total mind & puts them right in the middle of life in a troubling era of Mississippi life! Beautifully written from a totally differnt view. I could almost smell Minny's mouth watering pork chops & hear those gossiping voices of "society". I laughed, cried, felt the fear & the sweet taste of karma right along with the characters. A must read!!
I couldn't put this novel down. I read it within a week and I work full time. Although the plot is fictional there was truth in terms of the era during the civil rights period. I fell in love with each character. When I got to the end, I just wanted more. I highly recommend this book!
Absolutely loved this book. Just so beautifully written from three different women's points of view. And the characters and places were completely real. I felt like I was right there in early 1960's Jackson, Mississippi, feeling the things they were feeling. I just watched the movie trailer and it looks like we'll have a good adaption from Dreamworks. I can't recommend this one enough.
A very good and easy read. I wished it would have ended differently but was good. Great, well defined, characters. Great story line too. I heard this was going to be turned into a movie??? Always read the book prior to the movie coming out.
I really liked this book. And, it really made me think about how the past still really influences the lives of people today. I have many friends that are different than me. nobody is the same ... Thank goodness!! How boring would it be to know a bunch of people EXACTLY like me?? (And personally, I don't think I would like them that much:) But, we are different in more ways than just "colors" & that is just fine!! I love all my friends!!:))) I am pretty glad I didn't have to grow up in a time where I may have been forced to keep my friends a secret from the world. Why should I have to feel ashamed who my friends are?? They are my friends because I like them for some reason, or another. I should never have to care what anyone else thinks. Boy, I think I would have gotten myself into trouble back then! LOL I feel sad that "Skeeter" ended up with a great friendship with Aibileen, but no one could know :( Books that make you FEEL & reflect on your life or yourself. . . They are the most awesome:)))
Kathryn Stocketts The Help may become a classic, despite criticism regarding her research into the early civil rights movement in Mississippi. The book divides its chapters into first-person narratives by the main protagonists: idealistic but naïve Skeeter, loving but somewhat bitter Aibileen, and sarcastic Minny. Aibileen and Minny are maids in Jackson, MS, during the early 1960s and Skeeter, who desperately wants to become a writer, tries to convince them to tell their stories of working as maids. The novels structure allows the reader to learn firsthand about race relations in the 1960s as well as tidbits about membership in the Junior League, recipes handed down from one generation to another, domestic violence, and child rearing.
Minny initially works for Hilly, who is the towns Queen Bee and biggest racist. Her grand idea for the future is having a separate bathroom for the help, a view she considers enlightened. She points to deeply flawed science as the reason behind this idea. And this is despite the fact that the maids often literally do everything for these women: prepare the food, care for the children, and clean the home. Yet they are silently ostracized because of their race.
Skeeter, while not advocating segregation, slowly begins to realize how unfairly the maids are being treated, particularly Minny, who is fired without cause and fears shell never get another job as a maid. Her revenge on Hilly provides one of the books (and the movies) funniest scenes.
Dignity for these women is in short supply; they feel they are left with no choice but to resign themselves to menial work that doesnt often pay all the bills, as Aibileen notes. They hope that one day things will change for the better with men like Dr. King and Medgar Evers leading the way. They hope one day that their children will be educated enough to not need to do menial labor. The maids know that telling their stories to Skeetereven if they dont identify themselves openlymay put them in danger. When Medgar Evers is killed, the women are horrified and frightened. Will their employers see themselves in the pages of Skeeters book?
Minny, having been unceremoniously fired, finds a job working for the beautiful (but white trashy) Cecilia Foote, who is a caring, loving person with a devoted husband. Minny teaches her how to cook and helps her deal with the pain of infertility. Aibileen is raising a beautiful little girl, Mae, whose mother is often too distracted to deal with her own child. That the maids are often the girls surrogate mothers illustrates the somewhat strange history of the South. Skeeter, clearly a stand in for the author, also has a close relationship with her maid/nanny Constantine, even going so far as to try and track her down in Chicago.
I could see this book becoming required reading for high school students, as it skillfully blends fictional characters with the real racist attitudes that existed (and, sadly still exist in some places) in the southern United States.
* * * ½*. Historical Fiction. During the height of the civil rights movement, an aspiring writer tries to collect hardship stories from the black house servants of her town, unbeknownst to her white racist "Society" friends.
Moving us through different points of view, the author manages to touch upon the issues that arose, as well as allows us to "listen" to the "voice" and character that each servant has.
I love, love this book. My wife read it and saw the movie last summer and told me that I would enjoy this book. I read and fell in love with it. I have seen the movie at least 4 times and I am rereading it right now. It is a fabulous book and a history lesson to boot.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett is another one of my all-time favorite books, ranking right up there with Water for Elephants. Set in volatile Jackson, Mississippi in the early sixties, this story revolves around Skeeter, a budding reporter, who clandestinely interviews the black hired help. She starts with Aibileen, her friend's maid. Aibileen is a soft-spoken, intelligent, caring woman who has raised countless white babies in her career. Of course in such precarious times, she's reluctant to say anything about her working conditions, but Skeeter eventually gets her to open up.
Minny is a spunky, sassy maid who works for Miss Hilly, a slimy, controlling bigot. When Hilly fires Minny, she seeks out her own revenge before she finally finds another job with Celia. Celia is a clueless, sweet woman considered white trash thanks to Hilly. The book meanders through each of the women's lives telling their own storylines which melt together like a delicious bowl of unadulterated chocolate.
As a whole, our book club members really liked the book. We cared about the characters and the story. Some thought it dragged on a bit at the end, but I don't agree. I loved it from beginning to end, could you tell? If you haven't read it yet, I hope you will. Read other reviews at http://readinginthegarden.blogspot.com
It gives you a sense on what used to be considered right and wrong. For me it was like a completely different world, not an Era that we had actually gone through, well not me, that was before my time. But to see someone defy the rules of her time was heroic I would recommend this to anyone.
I loved this book. I grew up in the South, Louisiana, during this same era. I can't speak from the side of the maids but Kathryn got it right from the white ladies side. I read it, my wife read it and now my daughter's reading it. I'd recommend it to anyone.
I haven't finished reading this book as yet. The end of Chapter 4 really set my teeth on edge as it seemed to have left a cliffhanger. I really WANTED more follow through on this particular scene because it was darn funny. As it was, that chapter alone made me put the book down for a while. I'll come back to it and hope the writing isn't as rushed as it seems to be so far.
*EDIT* ok, I've finished the book and have to say it didn't engage me until around the middle of the book. The ending was un-inspired and a cliff-hanger which I cannot stand in a book. I would not read it again as it was far too choppy and segmented. I certainly hope the movie is better. As far as the life and times, historically, the author isn't too bad about it but could have done something more gritty with the characters. It sounded like too much fun and games for me to believe it's historical value - since I lived through most of it.
Awesome book! Enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. Admittedly, I got the book because of all the hype. I enjoyed how the author was able to tell various stories and tie them together. Well worth your time!
I read this book a few weeks before the movie came out and I am still struggling with my feelings about both. Is this book a good, fun, thoughtful read? Yes, the movie was the same. Yet I still struggle with the purpose and impact of both. The author and screenwriter are white people, and while I know that there is much of this book that is true to life, the story had to be white-washed and filtered through the lens of a "white savior" to be palatable to mainstream America. Yet, I like the way this book illustrates the ways that power, privilege, and oppression play out (still today) in race and gender relationships. I would love to see this book and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks discussed as a pair in a book club. Both books are well worth it.
This is a very well developed character study of women in the south during the civil right struggle. The book looks at both the positive and negative relationships of colored women who worked in white homes in Mississippi. The language is a great rendition of the ways people speak in the south. Gramatiphobes beware.
I already read it a year ago. Gave it to a friend, never received it back. My 12 year old Grandaughter watched the movie and wanted the book. Paperback swap to the rescue with a book in excellent condition. She said it was so much better than the movie, I agree
This is a very good book and I would recommend reading it. As in most cases the movie was not as good as the book. I do not think the move did a good job of conveying the fear the black women had of speaking against their white employer.
I loved this book. It is written in such a way, that a few chapters into reading it, I felt as if I was one of the characters. Filled with witty characters that are both easy to love and hate, and all around believable this was a great book, and would make a perfect summer read
I'd put off reading this book for a while, because usually when there is so much hype about a book, it doesn't live up to my expectations. I finally made myself read it, because I wanted to read it before I saw the movie.
All I can say is wow! What a fabulous story! I can't believe that this is Kathryn Stockett's first novel. I would definitely read anything else she writes. I felt like I was right there in Jackson, Mississippi along with Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny. It took me a few chapters to get used to the "flow" of the book, but after that I had a hard time setting it down. I'm still thinking about it. I wanted to jump into that story and tell Hilly off in the worst way!
If you haven't read it yet, read it! You won't be sorry that you did. A great book.
This was a wonderful book. It is difficult to put this book down and I found myself reading it during every free moment I could find. I couldn't wait to see what would happen at the end, and now that I have finished the book I feel a tinge of saddness that the story is over. I highly recommend this novel.
This book is so incredibly hyped right now, and typically that means Im pretty reluctant to read the book. I mean, last time I read a super hyped book, it was Twilight, and I was just not a fan. But my book club chose this as their March read, so I ordered it from Amazon and set into reading it. Boy, am I glad that I did!
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This book was just wonderful. I grew up in the 50's and 60's and even though living in South Dakota I remember hearing about all the uprest and taboos between black people and white. I like to think we have come a long ways, but I know there are still hardships for the black people. Great book!
Not at all impressed with the book. I don't even begin to understand the hype. I read it before the hype, because the premise sounded interesting. It is difficult for me to recognize any originality or anything that makes you think, unless you've never heard of this type of discrimination before in which case it would probably be of interest. To me, the characters were plastic, the maids' stories were a cliche, in fact most of it was a cliche. It would have been much more interesting from an African-American point of view IMHO. She tried to give that pov but I don't think it worked. I have heard it is to be a movie which seems right - no depth to attempt to depict. Sorry I can't recommend it as anything more than a so-so story.
I enjoyed the story, but I found the reading was not smooth. Perhaps it was just the bad English used by the black characters in the books. I know things like this happened in the South but I have a hard time imagining people treating other people like this. What amazes me is that people still do.
Couldn't put it down. Whether my heart was aching for the characters, feeling anxious right along with them or laughing at their antics they all came to life in a way that left me thinking about them long after I had finished the book. The Help spins a tale about common household "Help" & the families who employee them. Love it!!!
This started out to be a decent book, but slow moving & I HATED the end!!! (I got it b/c I saw the great reviews, but was very disappointed.)
UPDATE: Sometimes, a story has to grow on me. When my two best girlfriends wanted to see this movie at the theatre, I went along. The movie was very true to the book and I saw the story much differently. I have grown to LOVE this story and bought each of my girls a copy of the DVD when it came out. I'm now watching it on TBS (it's played a couple of times recently) BUT... I still don't like the ending. Can't help it - I'm a happy ending kind of girl!
LOVED this book, really disliked the movie (but I seem to be the only one). Great characters, really great topic. I love books about strong women. Important topic for people to still read about and remember slavery wasn't that long ago.
The characters are well written. The small stories are great. But the big story: the one where one niave but well meaning white lady somehow "saves" a whole town full of black women- that one is the sort of wishful thinking that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
I was not at all surprised, upon finishing the book, to read a note from the author that she had been raised by a black maid, and that she feels a lot of guilt there. This whole book was about her guilt, more than it was about anything else.
If you have any conscience or sense of what is truly right and wrong, the first part of this book will disturb you. DON'T let that stop you from reading the entire book. This is an amazing book of love and hate, justice and prejudice. It's story is long overdue. It is so well written and compelling. I couldn't wait to read it every day. Bravo Kathryn Stockett! And thank you to all the women who influenced her life and book.
This book was well written and weaved in and out of three different narrators seamlessly. The characters were all well developed and you found yourself trying to understand a different side of racial prejudice. I highly recommend it.
Well written book with laughs and tears...I enjoy a book that evokes emotion. I was a young woman during this time period and heard little of the situation in the south...being born and raised on the West Coast. It surprised me how little I knew of the struggles women of color were experiencing...this book was both enlightening and enjoyable.
Great read! Once I started it, I couldn't put it down even though I had already seen the movie. As with most screenplay adaptations of novels, the book goes into much more depth and allows more character development. I highly recommend The Help!
This book is one of the best I have read. It captivates your attention on the first page. You experience laughing, crying, anger, frustration and elation all wrapped in the pages of this well written novel. I would read another book by Kathryn Stockett again. I felt like I was living among all the characters. Some I loved and some I didn't but isn't that what life is about?
Great Book after I got over trying to correct the bad English the black maids talked. Truthfully I so wish Id have picked it up in audio book because having to actually read what the maids were saying drove me about half mad. I almost never read books like this set in this time at least. I prefer a historical to be set in England in the 1800-1900 so it still has bad English but its England English not American early Ebonics. I read the book because a friend of mine kept pestering me to and then I won it in a PBS Games Swap so I said what the hey why not. After reading it I will say it is an excellent book. They character dynamics in the book are great. It shows a couple points of view so you get the white point of view and the black maids point of view on what happened in Mississippi during the 60's.
My favorite character was Celia Foote she was by far the most interesting character and all she did was lay around all day. I had to keep reading to find out what was going on with her. Though I was pretty sure what she was doing after the first time Minny and her met when Minny asked her when she was going to have children and then after that with everything that she did. I felt deeply sad for this character she had everything she wanted in life Money, A loving husband, A large house everything that is except kids. I cant imagine what this character was going though but even for the times it would have been hard especially with how much emphasis was put on women having children.
I only felt a little shafted in the end because it just cuts off with skeeter leaving and doesnt really tell us what happened to the maids or Celia. That would have to be my only complaint was the ending.
I loved the characters, the story, the setting, the time frame. I think it could be right out of somebody's journal. The plot was a little convenient, but I really loved this one, I hope the movie is as good.
After I finished The Help I felt like I needed to go read some John Steinbeck. It was fast, engaging and fun to read but to take this idea (maids or "help" in 1960 Jackson Mississippi) and simplify it to this level seemed "wrong" to me. From reading the jacket it looked like Stockett did't even interview any former help or do background research.
Aside from the candy coated story, I do have to admit that I enjoyed reading this book. It flowed and was fun even if it ...more After I finished The Help I felt like I needed to go read some John Steinbeck. It was fast, engaging and fun to read but to take this idea (maids or "help" in 1960 Jackson Mississippi) and simplify it to this level seemed "wrong" to me. From reading the jacket it looked like Stockett did't even interview any former help or do background research.
Aside from the candy coated story, I do have to admit that I enjoyed reading this book. It flowed and was fun even if it was cliche.
i do not think i read the same book as some of the others did because it was something i liked but i read two other books before i finished this one (i never do that) but maybe because it was written by a caucasion from african-american pov. i did like the characters esp. minny, but i guess it just wasn't a surprise on how "the Help" was treated.