The Help by Kathryn StockettThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help

byKathryn Stockett

Paperback | April 5, 2011

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The #1 New York Times bestselling novel and basis for the Academy Award-winning film.

Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town...
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.
The Help
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by Kathryn Stockett

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The Help

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Title:The HelpFormat:PaperbackDimensions:544 pages, 8.19 × 5.1 × 1.14 inPublished:April 5, 2011Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0425232204

ISBN - 13:9780425232200

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Customer Reviews of The Help

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Intense but so Enjoyable! A great story. Highly recommend reading this before seeing the movie!
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good! Such a powerful story. Highly recommend reading BEFORE you intend to watch the movie.
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book This was a book club selection - well before the movie. It was a story that needed to be told. Characters well written, story flowed well. Definitely read it.
Date published: 2017-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! Loved the way this was written. I had the accent in my head while reading and was totally immersed with the characters. Great story, page turner and very enjoyable read. One to keep on your bookshelf permanently.
Date published: 2017-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great story of courage. I too saw the movie first, then read the book. I could hear the voice of all the women in the film while I was reading. Great story of courage.
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Great book, some great characters, really enjoyed reading it!
Date published: 2017-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Wonderful I watched the movie first and I loved it. Soon after, I read the book and fell in love with the characters all over again. Unsurprisingly, the book goes far beyond the movie in telling the story of these women. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees or To Kill a Mockingbird.
Date published: 2017-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Important Piece of Literature This book showcases very important themes. Suitable for ages 13+. Extremely important content, possibly the best piece of literature since To Kill A Mockingbird!
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I have read this book 3 times! I love this book so much! I have such an affinity for historical based books and this one takes the cake! Great, funny, insightful characters! It has its sad moments but it made me laugh too!
Date published: 2017-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Absolutely beautiful, interesting, fun, heart breaking and page turning story!!!
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The type of book you will want to re-read! I first read this book when it came out in 2011, and I have read it two-times since. Not only is the story deeply moving, but the writing style and character development will hook you within the first couple chapters. If you love books with strong plots and meaningful developments, read this one!
Date published: 2017-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping This book had exceptional voice. The characters were all so unique, developed and witty. It simply moved me to tears.
Date published: 2017-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I could not put it down. I love the way it was it written and the strong female characters in the story. There were parts that made me laugh, cry and get so angry. This is definitely a book that I will keep and read again.
Date published: 2017-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Timeless Story I absolutely loved this book. The story is set in Jackson, Mississippi during the 60's where racial tensions run high. The book jumps back and forth between narrations from Skeeter (a rich white woman) and the African-American maids who work in Jackson, giving the story a multidimensional point of view. If you're interested in civil rights, women having a voice in making a difference, and historical fiction then you'll definitely enjoy this book.
Date published: 2017-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun, Yet Powerful Read This was a really fun read (and rather entertaining movie as well). However there was also a really deep and thought provoking side to it as well. Great for book clubs.
Date published: 2017-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Immensely powerful Read this book preferably before you see the movie. The book is so much better!! As always.
Date published: 2017-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such an amazing story I loved this book so much it really helped me connect with real events in the past. Although this story is fictional it makes you think that this happened in real life! I definitely recommend reading this book!
Date published: 2017-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring - Courage One of the best books I ever read. The characters seems simple at the beginning but as the history goes, you see the strength they are gaining page after page. It moves a lot inside if you think and imagine how tough those times were; but it makes you realize that our times are tough as well and we have to face them with courage and hope.
Date published: 2017-05-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring I really loved this book, the way it was told through the white protagonist growing up in a rich and very racist white neighbourhood. She makes friends with her family's African-American maid and decides to write about her life. Parts of the book made me really angry at how the maids were treated and other parts made me laugh out loud. Tremendous book, fast and easy read.
Date published: 2017-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite! One of my favourite books and movies. Absolutely loved it. Worth a read, even worth to read it twice.
Date published: 2017-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Excellent read. Truly thought-provoking.
Date published: 2017-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful book The message was profound, the story was thought-provoking, and it also constantly tugged at the heartstrings. Loved it loved it loved it.
Date published: 2017-05-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Personal and thought provoking Yes it is a best seller with a lot of hype but don't let that stop you from enjoying it.
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's such a good book. I love the whole concept of the book, there were tear grasping moment and my emotions were allover the place. I didn't want the book to end.
Date published: 2017-04-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Generic "best seller" There wasn't really anything great about this book at all. I'm sure others enjoy it, but there's a thousand other books just like it.
Date published: 2017-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing. This one will stick with you long after you put it down. I have read it several time, and each time it tugs at my heartstrings! Such an amazing and wonderful book.
Date published: 2017-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good book This is one of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It is the story about African American maids working in white households in Jackson Mississippi in the early 1960s. Writing from the point of view of numerous characters, and combining fact and fiction, Kathryn Stockett has done a remarkable job of weaving a tale that depicts a turbulent era. At times humorous and fun, at other times serious and intriguing, this is an unforgettable story. If you haven’t read it yet, pick up a copy today. But be careful; once you start this story, you won’t be able to put it down...
Date published: 2017-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book! This was such an amazing book! If you haven't already read it... What are you waiting for!?
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing. Love the story line along with the way this book beautifully unfolds. Definitely recommend this book to all book lovers.
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book! I still re-read this book regularly. It's warm, entertaining, and moving.
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An absolute must read So beautifully written especially considering the story is set in a very dark time when slavery still existed. It is a book that you can't put down. I love that this story goes to show that no matter how much money you have or in which social circles you run in, doesn't make you a better person or parent. Loved this book.
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read Great read! Engrossing, funny, heartfelt, and at times shocking and brutal. This is an account of a very real period in history that I thought I was aware of until I read The Help. It's completely fictional of course, but still incredibly eye opening without being preachy or stereotypical.
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Oh my god so good! I couldn't put this book down! It is an amazing story but a story created from the historic and descrimitive past
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Excellent Book An excellent book that's going to be a challenge to put down.
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good and a bit funny I really enjoyed this book, it was really good and a bit funny
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Help. It was hard to put the book down... Watching the movie afterwards really brings it all together.
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Help I absolutely love this book! It is one of the books that I can read over and over again and cannot get tried of. Kathryn Stockett has done an excellent job writing in the main character's point of view. It feels like that you are actually apart of their lives in 1962. I highly recommend reading this novel. It is truly a classic.
Date published: 2017-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a great written book that you will definitely enjoy reading! I was always meaning to read this book and finally got a chance to. I was up late at night reading this book, it was just that good that it was hard to put down. It's a book about three women's bravery and resilience during one of the hardest times faced in America.
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a great read! I loved this book and all the historical accuracy to what occurred decades ago. I fell in love with the book and loved the movie too.
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent This was a book I was sad to have fishing reading because I miss being part of the lives of the characters portrayed. Forget about the movie, the book is so much better, so more real. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Five Star! Loved this book from start to finish.
Date published: 2017-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Masterpiece This is probably the best book I've ever read. I love that Skeeter wants to write a book from the point of view of the help. It's extremely risky considering that she lives in Mississippi in 1962, a time where the South was still very racist. Aibileen and Minnie are two maids that are risking their lives to tell a story that needs to be heard. I like how the story unfolds. I like the friendships that form in the novel. This book will make you laugh and cry. It's a very good read. I'd recommend it to anyone.
Date published: 2017-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This was so funny and so well written.
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mesmerizing A wonderfully engaging read. Just magnificent with crisp dialogue and vivid descriptions.
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED Really loved this book! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 5 out of 5 I loved everything about this book. It was so real, heart warming, genuine and a good wake up call. The characters were so unique and you could completely feel what they were feeling and relate (and others that just made me furious! - which was their role!). A definite must read. This book will stay on my bookshelf for years to come.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved every second I loved the historical context of this book and the way the story was written. I could not get enough of this book!
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from INCREDIBLE! I think that this book is definitely a must read. I haven't watched the movie since I chose to read the book. It's usually one or the other for me and I am so happy that I made that choice. I could barely put the book down and I was completely heartbroken when I finished it.
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful Everyone should read this book. I read the book before I saw the movie, and I think it made me enjoy the movie even more. Excellent read!
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite! I could not put this book down the first, second or third time I have read it. I just love the story and how the author was able to convey such a deeply rooted issue in society in such a graceful and humorous way. Such a compelling, honest and easy read!!
Date published: 2017-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting time in our history... People like these actually existed, and I enjoyed the story. The movie was equally enjoyable, and the source material helped the understanding... A worthy read.
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such an inpiring book I loved this book! It really opens your eyes of the inequality that black individuals have faced.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring and Witty I loved this book, it's a must read for young-adults and adults. It makes incredibly good points, and is also funny and delightful.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from awesome great great read, you really connect and feel for the characters and you learn a lot.
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read Excellent, diverse characters giving us an important glimpse into the 60's in the South.
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this book! This book was great! I recommend it!
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This book was great! A quick and easy read with wonderful characters.
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great for a book club Enjoyed this book. It was written beautifully with a decent plot that touches the mind and the heart.
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great read It's well written and tells a great story. As usual the book is better than the movie, but the movie was excellent too! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely well-written, and quite a touching book. either people like or dislike it, but i am sincere about the book. worth a read.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Staple on my Bookshelf I don't know anyone who doesn't own this book. It seems everyone has read it and that's a good thing. It's an incredible story and for the first time, the movie also does it justice! But of course, the book is still better.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely fascinating and hilarious The reader cannot help but be absorbed with the quirky personalities of the characters and their interactions with each other. It is wholeheartedly entertaining.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's well written, entertaining, enlightening and inspirational. I would recommend it to anyone.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Book Great book to read. This book will open your eyes to how black maids were treated in the south in the 1960s. The movie is great too.
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touching! This book was absolutely on of my favourite books i've ever read. Its great and really inspiring
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So Touching Loved this book! It really opens your eyes and leaves you wanting more
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A wonderful book I loved the multiple narrators and seeing the story unfold from each of their points of view. Powerful book that made me learn a thing or two about life and people. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique... I enjoyed it a different look at a time that is a long time ago, but not that long that it doesn't show a different life for people.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Girl Power Read Such strong female characters in this book! I laughed and cried, sometimes at the same time, I was so involved in the lives of each character. An amazing read
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book! I really loved this book! It represents the lives of these women so well, and it is definitely worth a read!
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book This is an amazing book! You find yourself drawn into the story, and the lives of the characters.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book was so good, I had to get two copies- one for myself and one for my mom. It's a great read and was a great movie.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow A must read. I couldn't put the book down. You are very easily drawn into the lives of the characters.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read Couldn't put it down. Read it through in one sitting. So well written. The characters have VOICE!
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUST READ great book, movie is good too, but I really recommend the book as well.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read You will be easily drawn into these lives. I feel this is a must read for understanding some of the dynamics in the segregated American South. My teens read it and loved it as well.The author is fair to every single character in describing the details of their lives.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book amazing read. written very well! Loved it
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from truly fantastic This book made you feel like you were living through every page. Had you laughing, crying, and angry for whatever the page will bring you. Beautifully written and an amazing story.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This is one of the books you must read and won't be able to put down. It will move you, inspire you, and change your perspective on life. The story development is amazing, the characters are lovable and I know you won't be disappointed!
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic A tad expensive but well worth it for the read, it will really change the way you look at these issues and everyone should read it at least once.
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking & wonderful This is just one of those books you don't want to put down.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I can read it over and over again I love this book and the movie! As soon as I started it I couldn't put it down and i've read it over and over again. #PlumReview
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I loved both the book and the movie!
Date published: 2016-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one you can read again and again I bought this book a couple of years ago, and have read it and read it again ever since. You get to know every character, and it is impossible to put down
Date published: 2016-12-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great book I've read this book before and after I watched the movie. The characters are so well developed, their historical story told in such a captivating way.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great book I've read this book before and after I watched the movie. The characters are so well developed, their historical story told in such a captivating way.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great book I've read this book before and after I watched the movie. The characters are so well developed, their historical story told in such a captivating way.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Such a great book I've read this book before and after I watched the movie. The characters are so well developed, their historical story told in such a captivating way.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great book Awesome book, you'll read it every few years. The characters in the novel are so well developed !
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You need this in your shelf Was a highschool read, it rekindled my passion for books
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect! Absolutely loved this book! The kind you read over and over again :)
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Memorable Fantastic story with all sorts of morals, definitely worth a read no matter who you are.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Help A very heartfelt and moving tale.
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Story I read this over and over again. Really gives you a taste of history and how African Americans were treated historically
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite books I have read it about 5 times. Such a great story line. The movie is well done too.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant Fantastic book, I flew right through it.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Historical fiction at its finest! This book is both poignant and educational. An instant classic.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny and Moving A moving story about the civil rights movement in the United States, with touches of humour, An important read.
Date published: 2016-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Great I originally had to read this book for an assignment for school, and in order to get started, we had to pick a book, buy it, read it, and finish reading it to start creating the presentation and writing the essay. Surprisingly, I found myself hooked to this book and kept reading it, and managed to finish it in 3 days. This book turned out to be one of my favourite novels. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Book! I loved this book so much that I had too buy it for myself. It really puts into perspective the difficulties of not only being African American, but of being an African American woman living in the Southern States. It's wonderfully written, and has humour to break up the seriousness of the issues discussed. Overall, it's a wonderful story
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from brilliant was a very good book and movie. just took a very long time to read
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Absolutely loved it This book is in my list of top 10 favourite books. It's endearing, holds some laughs, and makes you fall in love with the characters. A great read!
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Help Beautiful story and really well written. I couldn't put this book down.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant Fantastic read, everyone should read this at least once in my opinion.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good movie, GREAT book Movies rarely convey the story in the same way that a book does. If you liked the movie, read the book.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Entertaining #plumreview Great characters and wonderful story.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect Beautifully written, funny, heartwarming, BRILLIANT!
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than the movie The book was better than the movie but it is such a great story I would recommend both.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must-Read I heard lots of good about it but I wasn't sure about it because it switched points of views of the chracters os often but it was an amazing read.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put It Down I couldn't put it down, a really moving book.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant A real eye-opener and a great book, though the hardcover seems a little too expensive compared to the price of the softcover edition.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from such a good book one of my favorite books! so well written and loved that every chapter was a different character, loved this book
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant! I finished the day I picked it up, and it beautifully displays an unfortunate time in history. If you only read one book, let this be it.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny Amazing, funny that's all that needs to be said.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Help This is an amazing book! Its emotional, uplifting and funny
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Help One of the best books I have ever read. The characters will stay with you long after you finish. Keep the kleenex close
Date published: 2015-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! Highly recommended! Great insight on such an unfortunate period of human rights in North America....
Date published: 2015-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!! I really enjoyed reading this book. I especially liked the multiple point of views; the voices of the three main characters are so different and so funny. I loved the characters, and I felt I got to know them as the book progresses. The only thing I didn't like about this book is that there is a lot of swearing. Other than that, I pretty much loved everything about The Help. The story is so powerful, emotional, and beautiful. The ending will make you tear up for sure! An absolute must read!
Date published: 2015-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it from begin to end It was very hard to put it down. This is an amazing book of strong women who work to words a common goal.
Date published: 2015-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from GOOD Cool
Date published: 2015-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it Book is !much better than the movies, although movie was good. I'll never forget the Terrible Awful pie though. Must read this. Excellent .
Date published: 2015-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book This book was an amazing. Kathryn Stockett wrote such an insightful, moving novel. It was incredibly hard not to become attached to her characters. Worth the read!
Date published: 2014-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Very well written. Captures the personality of the character, written in a way that makes you feel your in the room as its hppeming. Characters become your friends, you get so familiar with them. Did not want book to end, almost left me wishing i could call the character up and see how they made out! its not often you find a book that you almost forget this isnt happening right now to your neighbor, and you can hear it in the twang they speak. I lughed, cried, even yelled at the book - 5 stars wasnt enough. I just wish it had 4-5 more chapters, it ended abruptly (rushed ending-feels like the author wasnt ready either) but up to tht point ****amazing! (just read millies chapter aloud til u r used to her accent)
Date published: 2014-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Help Just enough laughs to get you through the bad stuff but not overshadowing it Great read altogether IWill read more
Date published: 2014-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from THE HELP I've read this book twice every year for four years I love it so much. Kathryn Stockett is more brilliant than Einstein and a better artist than Van Gogh though she uses a pencil rather than a paintbrush.
Date published: 2014-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Help I loved this book. It was insightful, funny and heartwarming. The characters were interesting and I think everyone should read it.
Date published: 2014-12-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Horray to that piece of pie This book reminded me of a Nanny I used to have when I was young. It depicts the story of lady helpers in a time of repression in Southern United States. A tale of loving, hardworking women who simply wanted the respect they deserved. I cried and hugged this book when I finished.
Date published: 2014-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Help Great book. Way better than the movie.
Date published: 2014-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Gem The movie was great, the book is memorable. We'll written, with a feeling of wanting more.
Date published: 2014-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Gem The movie was great, the book is memorable. We'll written, with a feeling of wanting more.
Date published: 2014-08-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartwarming Thoroughly enjoyed this book :-)
Date published: 2014-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The help This book is the most warm hearted book ever.I laughed and I cried like crazy when it said what happened to tree lore.Great book Kathryn Stockett.
Date published: 2014-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Help Excellent. The Help is thought provoking and real; raw and beautiful.
Date published: 2014-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Historical fiction at its best
Date published: 2014-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Help Very good book enjoyed every bit of it I think everyone black women should read it or rent it. Showed us some of the things that my mom and my great aunts talked about being a maid. We are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus yes I'm talking about black women.
Date published: 2014-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Novel 100 times better than the film, this novelty attempts to depict the racial tensions of Jackson Mississippi through one naive graduate and two powerfully inspiring maids. Where the film glossed over the true danger of what these women were doing, the novel glosses over some of the hardships and trials of writing what many people did not want to hear. Overall an incredible novel that looks not only at race, but what experiences unite women. 
Date published: 2014-02-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Help! This book focuses on the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work for. It depicts the hardships they go through, and how they cope. I enjoyed reading this book as it focuses on three main character points of view. Overall a good read.
Date published: 2013-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just...wow. After watching The Help when it came out in theatres, I knew this was one book that I just had to read as soon as possible. And while many months went by before I picked it up from Chapters, I did read it in the end. The movie had me crying, laughing and reflecting, so I knew that the book would only intensify those feelings and reactions. And boy, was I underestimating its power. It took me all of 8 days to read it (granted, I had been working during those days; if I had my way, I’d have read it all in a day or two) and even so, 8 days truly wasn’t long enough for me to indulge myself further into the novel. Kathryn Stockett is absolutely amazing in my opinion. She has this undeniable gift of creating characters, creating settings, that are parallel to our own lives and experiences, and yet are set apart from us too. The black maids undergo such trials that it’s hard to believe life was actually like this in the 60s. Stockett spoke with such rawness, such honesty, that it was impossible to tear myself away from her words. From the get-go, I was rooting for every single black maid in Mississippi and Miss Skeeter — and hated Hilly Hollbrook with a passion. I wanted to slap Elizabeth Leefolt for her naivety and stupidity. And I wanted to embrace Celia Foote in the tightest hug, patting her on the back. Each character was so strong in his or her own way, whether they were right or not. The dialogue was flawless and the plot was seamless. There is a reason why this is a national bestseller — The Help can touch even the most skeptical person out there. To view more of my book reviews, visit: http://booksteame.com/
Date published: 2013-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Almost skipped it... I was hesitant to read this at first, but I saw the movie and thought I'd give it a shot. I'm glad I did! It was excellent! Funny and moving.
Date published: 2012-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME BOOK the book is very touching and inspired me a lot. The book is very easy to understand and its suitable for all ages........... I recommend this book because the auother used very good words and desicrible the story very well.
Date published: 2012-10-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Maid Good imagine writing a book about a bunch of black women, who work as maids, who get paid ( badly ) to clean the houses of white people, in the early 1960's, in the American south. Not only were the women poorly paid, they were also poorly treated. In one case one of the maids tells a story, about how one employer made her eat her meals outside, even in the winter. The book gets good when the main character Skeeter decided to write a book about what it is like to work as a maid. And she has to interview all the maids. Then the story gets interesting, real interesting after the book is published. I must say, I did not think much of the ending. None the less, It is still a very good book, and very worth reading.
Date published: 2012-09-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Definitely a Good Read I'm always a little nervous to read a book with a lot of hype, but this for the most part lives up to the hype. This is a heart warming story and will keep you reading. I would have given it 5 stars if it had a higher level of writing - it's written in a very easy beach-read style.
Date published: 2012-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really great read! This book was great couldn't put it down. Some parts made me cry and others had me laugh. Great read!
Date published: 2012-06-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I couldn't put it down I have recently finished reading this book. I have to say that I could not put it down. The Help is a book about the lives of three women and what it is like for them living in Jackson, Mississippi. One of the women, named Skeeter, wants to be a writer and the other two are Mini and Aibileen, who are maids. In order for Skeeter to get a job she must write about something no one else has, and it has to be something she really cares about. Skeeter ends up writing a book about the points of view of 12 maids, and what it is like for them working for white people. The book is set back in 1962, when colored and white people where viewed as unequal. This book made me cry and made me laugh. I would recommend this book to read. That is, if you haven't watched the movie, because to me the movie does not do the book justice.
Date published: 2012-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny and heart-wrenching! I was nervous when I started to read this book. I had bought it (like many others) based on the hype I was hearing. The Help, however, was worth the hype. The Help illustrates what it was like to be a black maid during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s in Mississippi. Stockett portrays the hate, abuse, and mistrust so well that, as a reader, I was mortified that any human could treat another in that way. In the same sense, though, there was love and dependence in some of the houses—Aibileen took care of Mae Mobley, who loves Aibileen. This love, however, has an end point, as Mae Mobley will soon learn that the maids are different and are the help, not family. Stockett writes amazing characters—unlike other books where the characters all seem like they’re really the same character (*cough*The Slap*cough*), each character had their own voices and were crafted so well. As a reader, you leave loving Aibileen, Skeeter (Eugenia), and Minny, and absolutely hating Hilly. The book is so full of emotions that, as a reader, you can’t help but feel them. If you’re like me, you ended up feeling so much towards these maids who were (for the most part) treated like garbage. The fact that Skeeter would want to write the story of how these maid’s are treated (not just the bad stuff, but all the good, too) is amazing. I hope that there were some people who didn’t treat people of colour like they’re lepers. The fact that the latter still exists in this world is unbelievable and sad (and probably not a rant for a book review). The Help is funny, heart-wrenching, and warm. It is also an eye-opener to what still goes on in some parts of the world. Definitely worth a read.
Date published: 2012-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from absolutely amazing! I couldnt get enough of this book. intriguing from beginning to end.
Date published: 2012-05-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Of course better than the movie Books are always better than movies. But I did not expect just how much feeling Katherine Stockett put in those pages. A story of grace, courage and hope. Read everyone.
Date published: 2012-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A good friend I loved this book. I felt like I was there reading about the lives of these women. It captured the politics of society and the nightmare that racial hate colored people and those that supported them lived with. It covered so many truths. Not just racism, it didn't ignore anything. It spoke of the truth behind wealth and society and although its main focus appeared to be about the colored maids of the south of how evil and kind their employers were. It reflected how the ugly taste of slavery is still in the mouths of some of the employers of these colored women. Others maids were considered family. It spoke honestly about the choices that men make about the women they choose to spend their lives with.. I loved how miss Celia fought off that attacker and how she well I won't ruin one of the best scenes in the book. I am so happy for Miss Skeeter and I thought it was a great thing to have her mother go into remission you want to be inspired by the power of possiblity and it doesn't always have to be looking down. Sometimes there are great victories. Thank you Kathryn Stockett.
Date published: 2012-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant Set in the troubled deep south of the sixties where racism is rampant, the story of a group of white women and their black maids is told through the perspective of three different individuals, both black and white. You will cringe as well as laugh out loud as this brilliant story unfolds and plunges you into the world of the domestic help that is so deeply involved in the everyday life of their employers yet treated so sordidly. The narration couldn’t have been better. The southern accents of the 3 women telling the story added that much more to an already rich narrative. Great story, well done, absolutely loved it !
Date published: 2012-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonder, Funny I loved this book, I cheered for them, cried with them and couldnt put it down. I was sad when it was done.....also the movie is great as well....
Date published: 2012-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Read! Once you start you wont be able to put it down!
Date published: 2012-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! This book was an inspirational masterpiece all around. Skeeter's fine determination and amazing ability to strike the lives of other's from a whole different point of view, the help, was absolutely heart warming. She went through facing legal situations, family, and friends while keeping her faith and pride just to see another side. The things that the help has to go through is unacceptable and disgusting. The courage that Skeeter brings out in herself and all The Help is just beautiful. All the characters played a key role in this book and it is a masterpiece between morality and immorality. This book is great for young teens and adults. I find this to be one of the best books I've ever read.
Date published: 2012-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! This book was an inspirational masterpiece all around. Skeeter's fine determination and amazing ability to strike the lives of other's from a whole different point of view, the help, was absolutely heart warming. She went through facing legal situations, family, and friends while keeping her faith and pride just to see another side. The things that the help has to go through is unacceptable and disgusting. The courage that Skeeter brings out in herself and all The Help is just beautiful. All the characters played a key role in this book and it is a masterpiece between morality and immorality. This book is great for young teens and adults. I find this to be one of the best books I've ever read.
Date published: 2012-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thoroughly enjoyed and recommend! Wow - what a story, it is divided between three women: Skeeter, a young daughter of plantation family; Aibileen, an older woman who works for Elizabeth that cooks, cleans and helps minds her daugther & son; and Minnie, who is a middle-age woman that is a firecracker of a person that worked orginally for Ms. Walters, then Ms. Celia. It takes place in the late 50's/early 60's in the Southern part of the USA (Mississippi) where there was segration and hate crimes/killings to those of colour. All three ladies come together with unusual circumstances which creates quite a commotion, let's see where it will leave everyone. I don't want to give away the story, so read it already! Recommend
Date published: 2012-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Amazing Book to Read!! After receiving the movie ‘The Help’ for Christmas, I immediately went out and bought the novel. There are some differences between the movie and the novel, but that is expected, but I love both the movie and the novel (I guess more so the novel because the writing style really gives you an insight into the characters and gives you a lot of history of each character). Stockett’s writing is very genuine, and it makes for an easy but very enjoyable read. I found sometimes I could not put the book down because there are parts where Minny is narrating and it is just so funny that you do laugh out loud, and then there are other parts that are just so gripping that you feel like you are right beside Aibileen, Minny or Miss Skeeter. The novel is very insightful in regards to how White people treated the Black people, making you realise-to an extent-what it was like for Black people in the 1960s.
Date published: 2012-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing and powerful story I wasn't sure that this would be my kind of book, but after hearing so much about it I decided to give it a try and I'm so glad I did. The characters are so authentic and the perspectives they share are powerful. While the movie was well done, it doesn't compare to the book! It is now one of my favourite books!
Date published: 2012-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant I had heard nothing but good things about the book, but when I read the back I thought, this is not the kind of book I would normally enjoy but took the chance anyways. I am so glad I went for it, this is easily one of the best books I've read. It has so much emotion and I felt so connected with the main characters. A must read!!
Date published: 2012-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EPIC.... 'NOUGH SAID :D This book was really good, i reccomend people who love heaertfelt novels, to read this one. I really loved this book and hope you do 2!!!!!!!
Date published: 2012-01-21

Read from the Book

Two days later, I sit in my parent's kitchen, waiting for dusk to fall. Igive in and light another cigarette even though last night the surgeongeneral came on the television set and shook his finger at everybody,trying to convince us that smoking will kill us. But Mother once toldme tongue kissing would turn me blind and I'm starting to think it'sall just a big plot between the surgeon general and Mother to make sureno one ever has any fun.At eight o'clock that same night, I'mstumbling down Aibileen's street as discreetly as one can carrying afifty-pound Corona typewriter. I knock softly, already dying foranother cigarette to calm my nerves. Aibileen answers and I slipinside. She's wearing the same green dress and stiff black shoes aslast time.I try to smile, like I'm confident it will workthis time, despite the idea she explained over the phone. "Could we…;sit in the kitchen this time?" I ask. "Would you mind?""Alright. Ain't nothing to look at, but come on back."The kitchen is about half the size of the living room and warmer. It smellslike tea and lemons. The black-and-white linoleum floor has beenscrubbed thin. There's just enough counter for the china tea set. I setthe typewriter on a scratched red table under the window. Aibileenstarts to pour the hot water into the teapot."Oh, nonefor me, thanks," I say and reach in my bag. "I brought us some Co-Colasif you want one." I've tried to come up with ways to make Aibileen morecomfortable. Number One: Don't make Aibileen feel like she has to serveme."Well, ain't that nice. I usually don't take my tea tilllater anyway." She brings over an opener and two glasses. I drink minestraight from the bottle and seeing this, she pushes the glasses aside,does the same.I called Aibileen after Elizabeth gave me thenote, and listened hopefully as Aibileen told me her idea—for her towrite her own words down and then show me what she's written. I triedto act excited. But I know I'll have to rewrite everything she'swritten, wasting even more time. I thought it might make it easier ifshe could see it in type-face instead of me reading it and telling herit can't work this way.We smile at each other. I take a sip of my Coke, smooth my blouse. "So…;" I say.Aibileen has a wire-ringed notebook in front of her. "Want me to…;just go head and read?""Sure," I say.We both take deep breaths and she begins reading in a slow, steady voice."Myfirst white baby to ever look after was named Alton Carrington Speers.It was 1924 and I'd just turned fifteen years old. Alton was a long,skinny baby with hair fine as silk on a corn…;"I begin typing as she reads, her words rhythmic, pronounced more clearly thanher usual talk. "Every window in that filthy house was painted shut onthe inside, even though the house was big with a wide green lawn. Iknew the air was bad, felt sick myself…;""Hang on," I say. I've typed wide greem. I blow on the typing fluid, retype it. "Okay, go ahead.""When the mama died, six months later," she reads, "of the lung disease, theykept me on to raise Alton until they moved away to Memphis. I lovedthat baby and he loved me and that's when I knew I was good at makingchildren feel proud of themselves…;"I hadn't wanted toinsult Aibileen when she told me her idea. I tried to urge her out ofit, over the phone. "Writing isn't that easy. And you wouldn't havetime for this anyway, Aibileen, not with a full-time job.""Can't be much different than writing my prayers every night."It was the first interesting thing she'd told me about herself since we'dstarted the project, so I'd grabbed the shopping pad in the pantry."You don't say your prayers, then?""I never told nobody that before. Not even Minny. Find I can get my point across a lot better writing em down.""Sothis is what you do on the weekends?" I asked. "In your spare time?" Iliked the idea of capturing her life outside of work, when she wasn'tunder the eye of Elizabeth Leefolt."Oh no, I write a hour, sometimes two ever day. Lot a ailing, sick peoples in this town."I was impressed. That was more than I wrote on some days. I told her we'd try it just to get the project going again.Aibileen takes a breath, a swallow of Coke, and reads on.Shebacktracks to her first job at thirteen, cleaning the Francis the Firstsilver service at the governor's mansion. She reads how on her firstmorning, she made a mistake on the chart where you filled in the numberof pieces so they'd know you hadn't stolen anything."I comehome that morning, after I been fired, and stood outside my house withmy new work shoes on. The shoes my mama paid a month's worth a lightbill for. I guess that's when I understood what shame was and the colorof it too. Shame ain't black, like dirt, like I always thought it was.Shame be the color of a new white uniform your mother ironed all nightto pay for, white without a smudge or a speck a work-dirt on it."Aibileenlooks up to see what I think. I stop typing. I'd expected the storiesto be sweet, glossy. I realize I might be getting more than I'dbargained for. She reads on."…;so I go on and get thechiffarobe straightened out and before I know it, that little white boydone cut his fingers clean off in that window fan I asked her to takeout ten times. I never seen that much red come out a person and I grabthe boy, I grab them four fingers. Tote him to the colored hospitalcause I didn't know where the white one was. But when I got there, acolored man stop me and say, Is this boy white?" The typewriterkeys are clacking like hail on a roof. Aibileen is reading faster and Iam ignoring my mistakes, stopping her only to put in another page.Every eight seconds, I fling the carriage aside."And I says Yessuh, and he say, Is them his white fingers? And I say, Yessuh, and he say, Well you better tell them he your high yellow cause that colored doctor won't operate on a white boy in a Negro hospital. And then a white policeman grab me and he say, Now you look a here—"She stops. Looks up. The clacking ceases."What? The policeman said look a here what?""Well, that's all I put down. Had to catch the bus for work this morning."I hit the return and the typewriter dings. Aibileen and I look each other straight in the eye. I think this might actually work.Chapter 12Everyother night for the next two weeks, I tell Mother I'm off to feed thehungry at the Canton Presbyterian Church, where we, fortunately, knownot a soul. Of course she'd rather I go down to the First Presbyterian,but Mother's not one to argue with Christian works and she nodsapprovingly, tells me on the side to make sure I wash my handsthoroughly with soap afterward.Hour after hour, inAibileen's kitchen, she reads her writing and I type, the detailsthickening, the babies' faces sliding into focus. At first, I'mdisappointed that Aibileen is doing most of the writing, with me justediting. But if Missus Stein likes it, I'll be writing the other maids'stories and that will be more than enough work. If she likes it…; I find myself saying this over and over in my head, hoping it might make it so.Aibileen's writing is clear, honest. I tell her so."Well, look who I been writing to." She chuckles. "Can't lie to God."BeforeI was born, she actually picked cotton for a week at Longleaf, my ownfamily's farm. Once she lapses into talking about Constantine withoutmy even asking."Law, that Constantine could sing. Like apurebred angel standing in the front a the church. Give everbodychills, listening to that silky voice a hers and when she wouldn't singno more after she had to give her baby to—" She stops. Looks at me.She says, "Anyway."Itell myself not to press her. I wish I could hear everything she knowsabout Constantine, but I'll wait until we've finished her interviews. Idon't want to put anything between us now."Any word fromMinny yet?" I ask. "If Missus Stein likes it," I say, practicallychanting the familiar words, "I just want to have the next interviewset up and ready."Aibileen shakes her head. "I asked Minny three times and she still say she ain't gone do it. I spec it's time I believed her."Itry not to show my worry. "Maybe you could ask some others? See ifthey're interested?" I am positive that Aibileen would have better luckconvincing someone than I would.Aibileen nods. "I got some more I can ask. But how long you think it's gone take for this lady to tell you if she like it?"I shrug. "I don't know. If we mail it next week, maybe we'll hear fromher by mid-February. But I can't say for sure." Aibileen presses herlips together, looks down at her pages. I see something that I haven'tnoticed before. Anticipation, a glint of excitement. I've been sowrapped up in my own self, it hasn't occurred to me that Aibileen mightbe as thrilled as I am that an editor in New York is going to read herstory. I smile and take a deep breath, my hope growing stronger.On our fifth session, Aibileen reads to me about the day Treelore died.She reads about how his broken body was thrown on the back of a pickupby the white foreman. "And then they dropped him off at the coloredhospital. That's what the nurse told me, who was standing outside. Theyrolled him off the truck bed and the white men drove away." Aibileendoesn't cry, just lets a parcel of time pass while I stare at thetypewriter, she at the worn black tiles.On the sixth session,Aibileen says, "I went to work for Miss Leefolt in 1960. When MaeMobley two weeks old," and I feel I've passed through a leaden gate ofconfidence. She describes the building of the garage bathroom, admitsshe is glad it is there now. It's easier than listening to Hillycomplain about sharing a toilet with the maid. She tells me that I oncecommented that colored people attend too much church. That stuck withher. I cringe, wondering what else I've said, never suspecting the helpwas listening or cared.One night she says, "I was thinking…;" But then she stops.I look up from the typewriter, wait. It took Aibileen vomiting on herself for me to learn to let her take her time."I's thinking I ought to do some reading. Might help me with my own writing.""Go down to the State Street Library. They have a whole room full of Southern writers. Faulkner, Eudora Welty—"Aibileen gives me a dry cough. "You know colored folks ain't allowed in that library."Isit there a second, feeling stupid. "I can't believe I forgot that."The colored library must be pretty bad. There was a sit-in at thewhite library a few years ago and it made the papers. When the coloredcrowd showed up for the sit-in trial, the police department simplystepped back and turned the German shepherds loose. I look at Aibileenand am reminded, once again, the risk she's taking talking to me. "I'llbe glad to pick the books up for you," I say.Aibileen hurries to the bedroom and comes back with a list. "I better mark theones I want first. I been on the waiting list for To Kill a Mockingbird at the Carver Library near bout three months now. Less see…;"I watch as she puts checkmarks next to the books: The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois, poems by Emily Dickinson (any), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."I read some a that back in school, but I didn't get to finish." She keeps marking, stopping to think which one she wants next."You want a book by…;Sigmund Freud?""Oh,people crazy." She nods. "I love reading about how the head work. Youever dream you fall in a lake? He say you dreaming about your own selfbeing born. Miss Frances, who I work for in 1957, she had all thembooks."On her twelfth title, I have to know. "Aibileen, howlong have you been wanting to ask me this? If I'd check these books outfor you?""A while." She shrugs. "I guess I's afraid to mention it.""Did you…;think I'd say no?""These is white rules. I don't know which ones you following and which ones you ain't."We look at each other a second. "I'm tired of the rules," I say.Aibileen chuckles and looks out the window. I realize how thin this revelation must sound to her.

Bookclub Guide

INTRODUCTIONTwenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women—mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends—view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t. ABOUT KATHRYN STOCKETTKathryn 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 nine years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter. This is her first novel.A CONVERSATION WITH KATHRYN STOCKETTQ. What was the genesis of the novel?Growing up in Mississippi, almost every family I knew had a black woman working in their house—cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the white children. That was life in Mississippi. I was young and assumed that’s how most of America lived.When I moved to New York, though, I realized my “normal” wasn’t quite the same as the rest of America’s. I knew a lot of Southerners in the city, and every now and then we’d talk about what we missed from the South. Inevitably, somebody would start talking about the maid they grew up with, some little thing that made us all remember—Alice’s good hamburgers or riding in the back seat to take Willy May home. Everybody had a story to tell.Twenty years later, with a million things to do in New York City, there we were still talking about the women who’d raised us in our mama’s kitchens. It was probably on one of those late nights, homesick, when I realized I wanted to write about those relationships from my childhood.Q. Tell us about your own family maid and your and your family’s relationship with her.My grandmother’s maid was named Demetrie. She started working for my grandparents in 1955, when my father and uncle were still boys and she was twenty-eight. When they were grown, she looked after us, the grandchildren. I loved Demetrie dearly, and I felt so loved too. We got the best part of her. She wasn’t our mother, so it wasn’t her job to discipline us or make us sit up straight. She just played with us and fed us, and she liked to make us laugh. When I was little, she told me that I had a tail, and I was always turning around, looking for it. I wasn’t exactly “quick” as a child.I think another reason my siblings and I had such a close connection with Demetrie is that she never had children of her own. She’d grown up poor and lived with an abusive husband. When a person has that much sadness and kindness wrapped up inside, sometimes it just pours out as gentleness. She was a gentle soul. There haven’t been enough people like her in this world.Q. Since you weren’t alive in 1962, what research, if any, did you do to make sure the time period and social attitudes of the era were accurate?It sounds crazy, but I would go to the Eudora Welty Library in Jackson and look at old phone books. The back section of the phone book captures so much about the mundane life in a certain time, which somehow becomes interesting fifty years later. The fancy department stores, the abundance of printing shops, and the fact that there were no female doctors or dentists— all helped me visualize the time. In the residential listings, most families just listed the husband’s name, with no mention of the wife.I also read The Clarion-Ledger newspapers for facts and dates. Once I?d done my homework, I’d go talk to my Grandaddy Stockett, who, at ninety-eight, still has a remarkable memory. That’s where the real stories came from, like Cat-bite, who’s in the book, and the farmers who sold vegetables and cream from their carts everyday, walking through the Jackson neighborhoods. I found that people don’t seem to remember “social attitudes.” They remember what you could do, what you couldn’t do, and especially those people who went ahead and did both.Q. You interviewed both African-Americans and whites from this time period. Was there anything surprising in what they told you?It’s a tricky question to ask. It is hard to approach someone and say, “Excuse me, but what was it like to work for a white family in the South during 1960s?” I guess I felt a lot like Skeeter did in The Help. But I did hear plenty of interesting stories. One black woman from Birmingham told me she and her friends used to hide down in a ditch, waiting for the bus to take them to work. They were that afraid to stand on a street corner because white men would harass them. Still, all of the black women I spoke to were very proud of the jobs they’d had. They wanted to tell me where their white children live today and what they do for a living. I heard it over and over: “They still come to see me” and “They call me every Christmas.”The surprises actually came with the white women I interviewed. I realize there’s a tendency to idealize the past, but some of the women I spoke to, especially the middle-aged generation, just fell apart before they even started talking. They remembered so many details: She taught me to tell time; She taught me to iron a man’s shirt before I got married; She taught me how to wait for the green light. They’d remember and sigh.After a while, I started to better understand what they were feeling. I felt it, too. It wasn’t just that they missed these women so deeply. I think they wished that they could tell them, one last time, “Thank you for everything.” There was a sense that they hadn’t thanked them enough.Q. Were you nervous that some people might take affront that you, a white woman in 2008—and a Southern white woman at that— were writing in the voice of two African-American maids?At first, I wasn’t nervous writing in the voice of Aibileen and Minny because I didn’t think anybody would ever read the story except me. I wrote it because I wanted to go back to that place with Demetrie. I wanted to hear her voice again.But when other people started reading it, I was very worried about what I’d written and the line I’d crossed. And the truth is, I’m still nervous. I’ll never know what it really felt like to be in the shoes of those black women who worked in the white homes of the South during the 1960s and I hope that no one thinks I presume to know that. But I had to try. I wanted the story to be told. I hope I got some of it right.Q. Of the three women—Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter—who is your favorite character? Were they all equally easy or difficult to write? Were any of them based on real people?Aibileen is my favorite because she shares the gentleness of Demetrie. But Minny was the easiest to write because she’s based on my friend Octavia. I didn’t know Octavia very well at the time I was writing, but I’d watched her mannerisms and listened to her stories at parties. She’s an actress in Los Angeles, and you can just imagine the look on her face when some skinny white girl came up and said to her, “I’ve written a book and you’re one of the main characters.” She kind of chuckled and said, “Well, good for you.” Skeeter was the hardest to write because she was constantly stepping across that line I was taught not to cross. Growing up, there was a hard and firm rule that you did not discuss issues of color. You changed the subject if someone brought it up, and you changed the channel when it was on television. That said, I think I enjoyed writing Skeeter’s memories of Constantine more than any other part of the book. DISCUSSION QUESTIONSWho was your favorite character? Why? What do you think motivated Hilly? On the one hand she is terribly cruel to Aibileen and her own help, as well as to Skeeter once she realizes that she can’t control her. Yet she’s a wonderful mother. Do you think that one can be a good mother but, at the same time, a deeply flawed person? Like Hilly, Skeeter’s mother is a prime example of someone deeply flawed yet somewhat sympathetic. She seems to care for Skeeter— and she also seems to have very real feelings for Constantine. Yet the ultimatum she gives to Constantine is untenable; and most of her interaction with Skeeter is critical. Do you think Skeeter’s mother is a sympathetic or unsympathetic character? Why? How much of a person’s character would you say is shaped by the times in which they live? Did it bother you that Skeeter is willing to overlook so many of Stuart’s faults so that she can get married, and that it’s not until he literally gets up and walks away that the engagement falls apart? Do you believe that Minny was justified in her distrust of white people? Do you think that had Aibileen stayed working for Miss Elizabeth, that Mae Mobley would have grown up to be racist like her mother? Do you think racism is inherent, or taught? From the perspective of a twenty-first century reader, the hairshellac system that Skeeter undergoes seems ludicrous. Yet women still alter their looks in rather peculiar ways as the definition of “beauty” changes with the times. Looking back on your past, what’s the most ridiculous beauty regimen you ever underwent? The author manages to paint Aibileen with a quiet grace and an aura of wisdom about her. How do you think she does this? Do you think there are still vestiges of racism in relationships where people of color work for people who are white? What did you think about Minny’s pie for Miss Hilly? Would you have gone as far as Minny did for revenge?

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Help   “The two principal maid characters...leap off the page in all their warm, three dimensional glory...[A] winning novel.”—The New York Times“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“At turns hilarious and heart-warming.”—Associated Press“In a page-turner that brings new resonance to the moral issues involved, Stockett spins a story of a social awakening as seen from both sides of the American racial divide.”—The Washington Post