The Help

Paperback | April 5, 2011

byKathryn Stockett

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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...

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From the Publisher

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 he...

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.

other books by Kathryn Stockett

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Paperback|Oct 12 2010


The Help
The Help

Audio Book (CD)|Feb 10 2009

$39.36 online$44.00list price(save 10%)
Criadas y Señoras: Tres mujeres a punto de dar un paso extraordinario, una historia con corazón y…
Criadas y Señoras: Tres mujeres a punto de dar un paso ...

Kobo ebook|May 18 2011

$4.69 online$5.99list price(save 21%)
see all books by Kathryn Stockett
Format:PaperbackDimensions:544 pages, 8.3 × 5 × 1.1 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


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 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:
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
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! It truely is the characters that make this book wonderful! Go out and pick this book up today!
Date published: 2012-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This was an amazing book and could not keep it down.
Date published: 2012-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! This book is awesome beyond belief! I love how it had three narators. This book has love, sorrow and humor! It has a little bit of everything, and has something for everyone. A definate must read, even for those who already watched the movie.
Date published: 2012-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Whenever I see a movie before reading the book, I find it insanely difficult to make it through the book. With The Help, I found it insanely easy. I saw the movie first, but the book was just so amazing that I had no trouble at all getting through the book. That in itself shows how great of a book this is. The story is amazing, and Kathryn Stockett's writing style is one of the best I've ever read.
Date published: 2011-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Greatest help money can buy “The Help”, simply put, is an outstanding and heartbreaking novel from rookie novelist Kathryn Stockett. The richness of her writing is beyond commentary. I found myself cheering out loud several times in the book. The beauty of book is how it is told between three main characters, all with different emotions, yet all similar at the same time. I couldn’t stop thinking of the story and characters. A classic novel.
Date published: 2011-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Amazing!!! I loved this book. Kathryn Stockett did such a good job portraying all the women in this book. The story was fantastic, I couldn't put it down. It had me laughing and crying, as corny as it sounds. The emotions in it were so real, I felt like I knew them and it hurt when they hurt. Definitely a must-read!!!!
Date published: 2011-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Debut Novel I had heard great things about this book and wanted to read it before I saw the movie. I was hesitant to read it, though, because of the setting: Mississippi in the 1960's. I was afraid it would be too upsetting. The author does a great job of writing from the perspectives of three characters. She even successfully switches to third person omniscient to 'report' on the Benefit. I loved this story. It is surprising that all these kinds of things were happening just a few short decades ago. Hard to believe it was Stockett's first novel. She writes beautifully, describing "a horseshoe of hair left" or a "sigh, long and slow like a deflating tire." You really care what happens to the characters and you cheer for and boo them accordingly. I wish some loose ends would have been tied up, though.
Date published: 2011-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Engaging. I found myself thoroughly engaged throughout the novel by the three dimensional nature of the characters and Stockett's ability to effortlessly mix humor and emotional tension. I definitely recommend this novel.
Date published: 2011-11-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Once again a "white" person saves the day Although the author of this book attempted to give us insight of what it was like to be an African-American living in a "white man's" land in the 1960s, she has taken away the heroism from the African-Americans by once again making the hero a white person. We all know the injustice the African Americans faced back then and the struggles they had to overcome everyday by themselves. Instead of giving them credit for getting the courage to speak out, the author minimized their actions by focusing on the how a "white" person set them free. Personally i'm tiered of reading about how wonderful white people are. I would love to just read a book that accredits the African-Americans.
Date published: 2011-10-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Mommy It's tooo big for me but my mommy read it. Ya I'm 18 and still live with mommy. Jealous?
Date published: 2011-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Read Absolutely loved this book. I couldn't put it down. The story was very well told. Can't wait to read the next novel this author writes.
Date published: 2011-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Help Loved it,
Date published: 2011-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The chatter is true- this is a great book. You will love love love it First heard about The Help from the reviews of the film. Hmmm i thought, if the movie is getting great reviews. The book must be even better at least I hoped. By the 3rd page I was hooked and not letting this novel go. It took me a couple of chapters to get use to "the help" language and terms. Book was an easy and comfortable read in fact there was a few times I re-read a few pages, because it was hilarious. There are 3 narrators- Abileen, Minny and Skeeter. I think every reader picks their favorite. Mine is Minny. I don't want to tell you anything about the characters. You decide who you favorite is... Best part: the maids and working together for a great cause Worst part: this event was only 50 yrs ago Read, laugh, smile, roll your eyes and enjoy this book. I promise you all the frenzy behind this book is worth it. You will want to be running out on your break or lunch to finish it.
Date published: 2011-09-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Help by Katheryn Stockett The Help was a book that was easy to fall in love with. I had in instant connection and love for the characters, which is what initially draws me into a novel. The Help dealt with difficult issues such as racism and the general treatment of black maids in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. The maids hired for help did everything for the women they worked for. They cleaned everything from top to bottom, cooked, worked late for their employers when they had a dinner party planned and even raised their children for them for a wage that could barely support their own families at home. The treatment of black maids was thought to be normal by the society in Jackson, but it didn't go unnoticed by Skeeter, a young white writer fresh out of college. She teams up with several maids to record their personal stories about working for their white women, the good and bad. The tales told by these maids are enough to make your heart ache for them and also warm your heart when you see that at least some of the white employers treated their maids with respect and helped them when they were in need. This book deals with the struggle for equality between white and black people, while main characters go through their own difficulties and personal issues. The Help provides an accurate reminder of what times were like in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. One can't help but root for the underdog in this story, being the maids and Skeeter who are just trying to raise an awareness of the relationships between maids and their employers. The Help will bring you along a journey filled with humour, heart ache and an attachment to lovable characters. The only bad thing about this book is I didn't want it to end.
Date published: 2011-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Book! an excellent book for those who are interested in a "through the looking glass" view of a terrible historical fact. I enjoyed seeing things from the "other side" so to speak, The author did a wonderful job of transporting the reader to places they have never before been.
Date published: 2011-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This was a wonderful book! I could picture each of the characters in my mind as I read their stories. Now I am waiting for the movie to come out on DVD so that I can compare my vision to the screen writers'. It must have been so hard to hold one's tongue, as those black women had to do, when they were treated so unjustly; I even felt a sense of triumph for the two women at the end of the book. I highly recommend this book and hope that everyone enjoys it as much as I did.
Date published: 2011-09-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from thought provoking a good read for those who are interested in a realistic view of a bad part of american history. I found it entertaining as well as thought provoking.
Date published: 2011-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The HELP This was a fascinating book and I am glad I read it before seeing the movie. Wonderful characters and appears to be accurate for the time period! I look forward to future novels by this author.
Date published: 2011-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect reading experience! This was a fantastic story with wonderful characters. It was sweet and funny and horrifying and humbling and thought-provoking and never ever trite. But best of all, it was completely accessible. There was nothing fancy about it -- no literary tricks. Just a darned good yarn about some wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) characters. And really, will anyone ever look at chocolate pie the same? Not I!
Date published: 2011-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love Minny I really enjoyed this book. I found the characters to be well developed, with clear voices. Some were relatable and the ones who were supposed to be likeable definitely succeeded I didn’t find it to be a page turner, but it sucked you in and before you knew it you had lost an hour to the early 1960’s of Jackson, Mississippi . It really is a good book, perhaps not great, but definitely worth reading. And the movie isn’t half bad either. Also, I loved Minny, she was a legend.
Date published: 2011-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic novel! I read the Help over one day because I just couldn't put it down! Kathryn Stockett portrayed the southern black woman very effectively, and I absolutely loved her style of writing. I immediately fell in love with this book from the very beginning and just couldn't put it down. Highly recommended to any woman looking for an easy, entertaining summer read!
Date published: 2011-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a read! Amazing! I started reading this on Thursday night and was done by Sunday night. I couldn't put it down. It is so riveting, very emotional. What a full range of emotions - sadness, frustration, happiness, anger, hope. The three points of view gave it a unique set of perspectives, which create - in modern terms - a 3D picture in one's mind. I gained a new appreciation of the civil rights movement and the history. Sometimes when we yearn for "the golden era" of yesteryear - this reminds us how different it was for different classes and races. I recommend this book to everyone.
Date published: 2011-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it!! This books shows how coloured people suffered in the 1960's, and what they had to put up with racism.I loved how she wrote the book with each chapter for each caracter, i read it in no time.Good job to the author.
Date published: 2011-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read I loved this book! I love the characters and their story. I saw the movie and thought it was really good. But for me a book is always better than the movie, it just has so much more.
Date published: 2011-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it !!!! I'm soo bad at judging a book by it's cover. Everytime I go to my local coles store, I ask for the best seller, and I'm always introduced a one or two books. I was introduced to The Help, and I was told that the movie was coming out soon. I saw the preview, and wasn't to sure about the movie itself, so it made me not want to read the book. Evidently, my sister was with me when I payed a visit to the store. Two weeks later, the book was from as a present for my birthday from my sister. I felt bad not having intrest in it, so I start reading. And of course, I could not put the book down !!! I feel like there are no words to describe this book. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get angry, and you'll gasp, especially towards the end. Usually the movies are never as good as the books, but I still feel I need to see the movie now !! Please buy this book, and give it a read !!
Date published: 2011-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! One of the best books I've read in a long time. I had become so attatched to the characters and so engrossed in the story, when the book was finished it felt like I was mourning the loss of good friends whom I would never see again.
Date published: 2011-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful This book was amazing. Well written and kept you wanting more. Loved it. Now I am sad that I'm done it. Totalling amazing that this is the authors first book. Great job. Write more.
Date published: 2011-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! I haven't liked many books lately but couldn't wait to get back to this. The characters were well written and believable. Not predictible = joyous reading! :-)
Date published: 2011-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Educational and Liberating I read this book back when it first came out and wasn't popular. I enjoyed it so much, because it wasn't just a great read but it was meaningful. It definitely captures you emotionally. I have recommended this book to all my friends, but I suggest reading the original copy so that you don't imagine the characters who are in the movie.
Date published: 2011-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from New favorite! I couldn't put this book down, it hase become my new favourite book. I would highly recommend The Help to anyone looking for an easy read that will make you think, while at the same time make you laugh and connect with the characters. Enjoy!
Date published: 2011-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books of the summer of 2011 Couldn’t put it down!
Date published: 2011-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book, definately recommend this This book is set in the 50's in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. It really is an interesting story about how blacks were treated in that era, and in that part of the country. Written from the perspective of the "blacks" who were "hired" to help white families. Some chapters were written from the perspective of the white individual, Miss Skeeter, who took it upon herself to write a book (sort of an expose) about what how the "help" felt about being in servitude to the whites. All in all, this is a very interesting, and entertaining book. I found that for me, I became more and more interested in the book, as I read along. It felt as though the book itself BECAME more interesting. We are able to hear and feel the perspectives of the individuals that take their turn as the first person, and telling the story for a while from their personal perspectives. I highly recommend this. I have not yet seen the movie.
Date published: 2011-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Book from start to finish This has to be one of the best books I have ever read, from the first page to the end, I could not put it done, so mesmerizing and so interesting. Bravo to the author for a first book hit!!!! Buy it read it over and over, its the only book where I read some pages over and over!
Date published: 2011-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WONDERFUL WONDERFUL BOOK. Read it when it first came out. Before all the hype and it's a fantatic book. One to keep.
Date published: 2011-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Go read it. NOW. I just finished reading this right this minute and couldn't wait to hop on over to write out a review. In all honesty, it was the movies release that spurred me to read the novel and I'm glad they made a movie out of it (though I've yet to see it) simply because it let me know this book existed. Now, my sister couldn't get past chapter 2 because of the way the narrative is written from Aibileen and Minny's point of view but all it does is add realism and poignancy to the script! By the end, I could practically hear them as though they were sitting right next to me. Which, as we all know, is the mark of great characters. The storyline is heartbreaking when it needs to be, funny when it needs to be and inspiring when it needs to be. It hits all the right marks without ever going overboard, unless necessary. What I loved about the main characters was that they had to work real hard to establish any sort of relationship; it was not freely given, which to me makes it more convincing, more relatable. You keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, for their world to blow up. As well, the side plots are every bit as good and help to build up each character, moving the narrative along instead of hindering it. One comment though is that I feel the aftermath of the book came about too near the end of the novel for my liking, I would have enjoyed it being drawn out perhaps a little bit more but again, the timing still worked out perfectly and it left no question unanswered. Reading that over, I really don't give anything away but it's for the best! Highly recommend.
Date published: 2011-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I see this book going to broadway! I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. I knew I would after the first chapter and just couldn't put it down until I was done. I thought about Abileen, Minny, Miss Skeeter and even Miss Hilly long after I put it down and began to drift off to sleep every night. I swear the voice of Abileen floated to me in my, strong but with a quiet nice about it...I can still hear her and all 'them' women. :) This book...will not only be a classic, as the commercials predict, but I believe it'll go to broadway, and I have never said that before about a book. I have bought the book in electronic format but I plan to save a little money to buy most of the women I know a copy to read, for their Christmas presents. It's just that good. I finished the book last night at 11 pm, and already I'm missing the girls... *wistful smile*
Date published: 2011-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding This is a great book Kathryn Stockett did a wonderful job with writing this novel and capturing each character's individual personalities. There were times that tears would roll down my face because it touched my soul no one should be treated in the way both Aibileen or Minnie were. This one I would highly recommand reading.
Date published: 2011-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thoroughly enjoyed it! I loved the author's writing technique. The way the story unfolds, the descriptions, the heart-wrenching emotional impacts, the character descriptions...everything was flawless and superbly written.
Date published: 2011-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read it Emotional and exhilarating, I couldn't put it down. The author finds a voice for every unforgettable character. You will find yourself cheering for the heroines and wishing you can slap some sense into Hilly. My most memorable read this summer.
Date published: 2011-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love funny What a great feel good book. The kind that makes you smile and giggle to yourself. Treat yourself and read this book, you wont be sorry.
Date published: 2011-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! I loved this book, it's such an easy read and I couldn't put it down! The story just flowed naturally. I recommend this book and I hope the movie does it justice!
Date published: 2011-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from For the good of your soul... Read this book. I only put this book down to go to sleep. And even then, I fought my burning, tired eyes. You will read this book and fall in love with these three women. When the book comes to its end, which all book inevitably do, you will be sad there's no more. I can't believe this is Kathryn Stockett's first book. It is incredibly written with heart and beauty. There is an honesty that is so hard to find these days. One of the things that I appreciate was the author's use of real milestones in history to illustrate the time. She would use the death of Patsy Cline, Martin Luther King's march, or the death of JFK instead of telling you the time of year and date. I reccommend this book for people of all ages, all races.
Date published: 2011-08-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Emotional and Inspiring Read The book follows the life of three women and how different each of their experiences are with in the same community. Skeeter's story tells how hard it is for her to express her feelings in a world that is so judgmental. In order to fit in you have to be just like everyone else. Surround by opinions that she does not share she feels trapped and is determined to find a way out. Minny on the other hand is not afraid to express her thoughts but finds that every time she does she is punished. She has unfortunately learned that in order to survive she must keep her feelings inside. Aibileen is a sweet older women who loves children. She has worked for several families and seen how children are influenced by their parent's prejudice. This was a wonderfully read, I felt for each of the women in this book and how hard it was for them living in that time. This book really shows how it takes one strong person to lead and most people follow. It makes you think about how it so much easier to go with the crowd then stand up and try to speak your mind.
Date published: 2011-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! WOW...........what an incredible book that brings together hope, love and power of the human race. The embodiment of the characters are so profound, that you are taken back to Jackson in 1960's, during the segregation and feeling the pain of wanting a brush of CHANGE to come. This story is truly one the will be told to generations after generations. This is a story that cultivates the diversity of the women and power that they each embodies, regardless of what walk of life they where from. This book is definitely a MUST for any book lover. It definitely a triumph for the human spirit!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2011-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun and Interesting! I believe that both "fun" and "interesting" are the only words to properly describe this novel. Stockett uses a soap opera type of approach to describe the insane world that these women live in, which creates a fun atmosphere that made me laugh out loud while reading it. It is also interesting because it provides a great opportunity to learn more about the things that used to occur in the south. I was captivated by the emphasized differences in race that don't actually exist. It is an absoulte must-read for everyone. It is about time that another story about the power of words came out to show it's true colours.
Date published: 2011-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant! The Help was brilliant! The characters were wonderful, encompassing a range of human behaviour. An excellent look into the minds of women. This was a very quick read; I laughed and I cried. I will definitely be buying this novel as a gift for family and friends. I can hardly wait for the movie!
Date published: 2011-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Amazing!!!!!!! I don't know what else to say except that this book was absolutely amazing!!!!! I could not put this book down. The story line was perfect as were the characters in the story. I could picture what they looked like and hear each of the different characters voices in my head as they told their stories............ Kathryn Stockett is a wonderful writer.....and this is only her first novel! Can't wait to see what she comes up with next! This book is one of my most favorite books that I have read to date. I hear the movie "The Help" is coming out this summer, I'm glad I read the book first. I'm curious as to what the movie will be like..... If you want an excellent The Help. It is well worth it!!!!!
Date published: 2011-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Didn't want it to end! This is the kind of book that I wish would never end! I wanted to know what happened to the characters. Did Mae Mobley go and find Abileen once she was a grown woman and thank her. And how did Minny do in the end...? This book to me ranks up with To Kill a Mockingbird, and I know some will think I am crazy to dare make such a comparison, but from what I can tell this subject was a close to the author's heart as TKAMB was to Harper Lee. Can't wait to read more from this author - and I hope the movie does this wonderful book justice!
Date published: 2011-07-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Big Ole Slice of Southern Hospitality... Literally! Kathryn Stockett writes a fictional story of African American maids and the high society women that they work for; a tale that rings so true that one feels like there is indeed an Aibileen, a Minny, a Skeeter, and a mean old Hilly, all keeping a secret that could ruin them all. This, for me, is a modern day Mockingbird. There is, of course, no way to trump the classic Lee novel, but I feel that this story explores the truth of segregation, racism and descrimination with much more depth and candor than Lee ever could at the time that she wrote. I found myself so emotionally invested in these women and their stories: laughing, crying, loving and hating with them. This novel is a champion of equality, in a world that thinks that it has moved passed this issue, even when there is still a long way to go.
Date published: 2011-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite books ever! This book was amazing and should be a mandatory read for high school students.
Date published: 2011-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable story about an otherwise heavy subject What an amazing read. Despite what would typically be considered heavy subject matter, this is a story told with hope, happiness, joy, and a true feeling of success. But of course, the frustration, inequity, cruelty, and sadness are all there too. That's what makes this such a spectacular read. Every emotion imaginable is represented. You will find yourself comparing the relationships to your own real-life relationships – not just between races/cultures, but also between friends, and among family. The characterization is done wonderfully, to the point that 20 pages from the end, I became reluctant to finish reading, knowing that I would miss the characters when it was over! This was a gripping story and an easy read. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2011-07-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good A few loop holes and unanswered questions make the read lacking in total satisfaction. But all in all a fairly good read.
Date published: 2011-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. It didn't take me long to read it because it was one of those books you just can't put down. I would highly recommend it as top on your list for reading!!!!
Date published: 2011-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Help I could not put this book down. This book was amazing!! It was intense and emotional. I feel like this book gave me something that I'll be thinking about long after I have finished reading it as it really demonstrates the view from someone's life, someone you may usually forget about or ignore. I just wish there had been more to the ending! But I guess you know it is a good book when it leaves you wanting more.
Date published: 2011-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A real page turner Captivating from start to finish, I laughed, I cried, and even sometimes shook my head in disbelief from what I was reading (re relationships between "the Help" and their employers). A must read!
Date published: 2011-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the Best!! I really can't say how much I enjoyed this novel. The voices were rich and alive. The weaving of voice in and out and through the characters had me mesmerized. Loved this novel and would recommend it whole heartedly.
Date published: 2011-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful read! I couldn't put this book down. The author did such a good job of showing the subtleties of the relationships between the various key characters. This book was at times very sad and, at other times, I laughed out loud.
Date published: 2011-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read!! Started this book and was automaticly hooked! Great read couldn't put it down. Different how the writing is for certain characters but I really liked that, it gave the book the right feel.
Date published: 2011-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Read! This was a great book. I had heard about it from a friend and went on the list at my local library. However, I was number 61 to get the book which meant sometime next year! When I saw that the book came out in paperback, I couldn't resist and ordered it. Well, it was great, we even chose to read it next month for my book club. It is a great book that exams the relationship between whites and blacks in the 60's . I liked that it wasn't preachy and made me empathize with both sides. Definitely worth the read.
Date published: 2011-06-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Entertaining As stories go, this was an entertaining read. The story is engaging, set in an interesting point in American history. Well written, funny- altogether not a bad Summer read. Anyone interested in reading similar books should consider Austin Clarke's 'Toronto Trilogy' about West Indian domestic workers living in Toronto.
Date published: 2011-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great gift! As a person who is always struggling to find a gift book for friends & family, I was so happy to find this book. I stayed up late last night to finish this page-turner, then couldn't sleep for thinking about it - I can't wait for my husband and friends to read it, too!
Date published: 2011-06-01

Extra Content

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   “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.”—   “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