- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (April 5 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425232204
- ISBN-13: 978-0425232200
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3 x 21.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 295 g
- Average Customer Review: 205 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Help Paperback – Apr 5 2011
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Praise for The Help
“This could be one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mockingbird…If you read only one book…let this be it.”—NPR.org
“Wise, poignant…You’ll catch yourself cheering out loud.”—People
“Graceful and real, a compulsively readable story.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A beautiful portrait of a fragmenting world.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“The must-read choice of every book club in the country.”—The Huffington Post
About the Author
Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and creative writing, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for sixteen years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Aibileen is a black maid, raising her seventeenth white child. She also does the cooking, cleaning, and ironing for a mere $43 a week from 8-4, six days a week. She is a lovable character, devoted to the child she is raising, and an honest and proud lady. Looking after baby Mae Mobley is a distraction and a help in overcoming the sadness she feels after losing her son Treelore.
What boggles her mind is that she can raise white children but she cannot use her employer's bathroom.
Minnie, Aibileen's best friend, also a black maid is a sassy one. She is short and stocky, but the one problem she has is that she can't hold her tongue. She is known throughout for being a great cook, but because of her loose tongue, she loses one job after another. However, her best friend Aibileen gets her a job with a newcomer, Celia Foote,a poor country girl who has married a wealthy man and has never had a maid. Minnie goes for the job interview and gets the job providing she keeps the job a secret. Mrs. Celia Foote doesn't want her husband to know and wants her husband to think that she is doing all the work by herself. Minnie doesn't like the idea but goes along with it until........
Miss Skeeter, a 22 year old white socialite, has just returned home from College, Ole Miss,with her degree and a need to write. Her mother makes nothing of her degree and is only interested in seeing Skeeter married. Miss Skeeter has plans of her own and has applied for an editing position at Harper and Row Publishers. She receives a letter from Elaine Stein, Senior Editor, with a couple of suggestions. Firstly, to be in the business of writing she would need a minimum of five years experience. Secondly, she tells Skeeter to write about what disturbs her, particularly if it bothers no one else. Skeeter gets a job with the Jackson Journal and her writing begins.
Miss Skeeter decides that she is going to write about what it's like to be a black maid in a white home. To do so, she goes directly to the black maids themselves and promises them she won't reveal their names, because they are fearful of losing their jobs and under those conditions they agree. Word gets around and very soon other black maids come forth to tell their stories and a story is in the making.
Kathryn Stockett's writing is so refreshing and humourous, but at the same time she gets her point across on the evil of Racism. She has a talent for capturing the way Aibileen and Minnie would speak in comparison with the well educated Miss Skeeter.
This book will fill you with sadness, anger, frustration as well as Hope for a better life.
Kathryn Stockett's debut book is a WINNER.
Miss Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny leave you cheering for them each step of the way. Kathryn Stockett has written a novel that will have you laughing, crying, frustrated, infurirated, heart broken, elated, anxious, engrossed and always wanting more.
If you only read 1 novel this summer make it 'The Help'.
Our would-be writer goes to the source, the maids themselves, but is able to coax only two--under promise of anonymity--to work with her: Minnie, whose outspokenness has cost her many, many jobs, and Abileen, who is considered a jewel, a treasure, and wholeheartedly trusted to raise her employers' precious (and seemingly endless supply of)babies...but not to use the family toilet. Soon, the other maids come flocking to tell their tales.
It's apparent that the church-going, mimosa-scented caucasian ladies of this world haven't made much progress from the days of Simon Legree. Oh, sure, nobody is taking a whip to the cleaning lady, but no law says you can't subject her to a humiliating series of rules, interrogations and suspicions.
The writing is so light and so fresh, you don't quite realize how seriously the writer, Kathryn Stockett, treats the subject. The book is funny...but it's never slapstick and never resorts to caricature, even when Stockett sits us among a group of white ladies sipping cool drinks and planning a fundraiser to save 'the poor black Africans' -- while guilelessly and guiltlessly exploiting the black woman serving them their diet sodas.
And the book isn't a one-note opera. Minnie is, at least on one occasion, the victim of her own misconceptions, and not any misbehavior on the part of a wholly benign employer. Hired by a "white trash" gal who married up, she must remain invisible from the husband. Her employer wants him to believe that she is the cooking/cleaning/washing and ironing wonder. When Minnie is finally caught in the act of cleaning by the husband, she panics...only to find him amused by the situation. It's a very funny scene. The husband walks in wielding an axe (he's cutting down a tree), but all Minnie sees is a big white guy, armed and dangerous. They explain themselves and friendship is brokered over sandwiches.
In some aspects, The Help a look a prejudice from two angles, but it doesn't falter in pointing out where the real culpability lies. The Help inspires thought and raises awareness...but never sledgehammers the message. You can enjoy the book as light reading, an amusing book about Southern mores, or you can go for the message. Either way, it's worth reading. This is Kathryn Stockett's first novel. Judging from the way it's climbed the best-seller charts, we'll be reading her next offering very soon. I can't wait.