Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Book Summer (Via Goodreads): Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

Book Movie Trailer:

Book Review:
This book has been recommended to me time and time again. It's not really in my preferred genre, so I didn't give it much thought...that is until I saw other readers that have very similar tastes to my own read and rave about it. Additionally, with the release of the movie, my interest was piqued. I had a smallish road trip coming up, so I picked up a copy of the audiobook and began my (figurative) journey into Jackson, Mississippi. The story begins in the year 1962, on the cusp of the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Parks has refused to give up her seat on a bus, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling declared racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional (see timeline). However, segregation runs deep in the south, and the black population of Jackson is expected to accept and live by the rules and guidelines laid out by the ruling white class. Enter three women, Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny, one is a white lady who comes from a privileged background, and the other two women are black maids, who serve white families as a means to support themselves and their families. In the book, The Help, these three women come together to write a book from the point of view of "the help" and perhaps change the life they've grown to accept. Needless to say, this is one hell of a book. It will make you want to cry, scream, and laugh all at the same time. Each character is as vivid as the next. I'm not usually a fan of books that have a large cast of characters, but Stockett does this well, giving each character a distinctive voice, and an intricate part of the plot. It has been said that this book is modeled after Stockett's own life, though I was not able to find any solid confirmation either way. This book gave me a lot to think about, a lot to be grateful for, and will definitely linger in my mind over the years. I highly, highly recommend The Help to all readers, this is one book that you do NOT want miss out on.

Favorite Quote:
“I head down the steps to see if my mail-order copy of Catcher in the Rye is in the box. I always order the banned books from a black market dealer in California, figuring if the State of Mississippi banned them, they must be good.” -found on goodreads. (I listened to the audiobook.)

Cover Art Commentary:
The colors are eye catching. It doesn't really give any indication as to what the story is about. When I first saw this on the shelves at the stores, I thought it was a self-help book. Little did I know, what amazing story awaited me behind the cover...



  1. What an awesome quote. I'm so glad it's so easy to buy whatever we want these days.

    Great review.

    I really must try this one.

  2. It's one book I keep see popping up so I'm sure I'll read The Help one of these days.

  3. @Juju
    It really is an amazing book. It took me by surprise. The whole book is quotable. :)

    It's a fantastic read! I hope you pick it up! :)

  4. I really liked this book too and I'm headed to the movie on Thursday. Nice review.

  5. @Kaye
    Thanks. I hope you enjoy the movie! :)

  6. This was one of my favorites last year, I think Minnie, Skeeter and Abileene will stay with me forever...:D

    Have you seen the movie yet? It was really well done, I think I cried harder during the movie than I did when I read the book