|Shipping: ||Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. |
Usually ships in 1 business days|
Literature & Fiction
Books > Literature & Fiction > Literary
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
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.
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.
|Publisher:||Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam|
|Publication Date:||February 10, 2009|
|Product Length:||9.17 inches|
|Product Width:||6.43 inches|
|Product Height:||1.39 inches|
|Product Weight:||1.52 pounds|
|Package Length:||8.9 inches|
|Package Width:||6.0 inches|
|Package Height:||1.7 inches|
|Package Weight:||1.5 pounds|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 6759 reviews|
|Average Customer Review: ( 6759 customer reviews )
Write an online review and share your thoughts with other customers.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2930 of 3099 found the following review helpful:
The Best Book in Years! An Instant Classic! Jan 29, 2009
The Help is about a young white woman in the early 1960s in Mississippi who becomes interested in the plight of the black ladies' maids that every family has working for them. She writes their stories about mistreatment, abuse and heartbreaks of working in white families' homes, all just before the Civil Rights revolution. That is the story in a nutshell - but it is so much more than just stories.
This is the best book I have read in years! I can't recommend it enough! It is fabulous and I think they will make a movie out of it. I would compare it to the writings of Carson McCullers, Harper Lee, Truman Capote and even Margaret Mitchell. The story grabs you and doesn't let you go. You can smell the melted tar on the Mississippi roads, the toil in the cotton fields, the grits burning on the stove. The theme is the indomitable will of human beings to survive against all odds - because of the color of their skin. It is a heart-wrenching account and you will never fondly remember the times of the Jim Crow laws (if you ever did). The pure, down and out bitchery of the white ladies who become dissatisfied with their maids and proceed to ruin their lives is portrayed vividly. The desperation of the maids' circumstances is truly touching. I have laughed and cried my way through this book and plan to re-read it. I highly recommend this book because it is going to be talked about as the best book of the year.
1381 of 1459 found the following review helpful:
A New Classic for America Mar 01, 2009
By Eileen Granfors
A new classic has been born. Kathryn Sockett's "The Help" will live in hearts and minds, be taught in schools, be cherished by readers. The three women who form its core, idealistic Skeeter, loving Aibileen, and sarcastic, sassy Minny, narrate their chapters each in a voice that is distinctive as Minny's caramel cake no one else in Jackson, Mississippi, can duplicate.
These stories of the black maids working for white women in the state of Mississippi of the 60s have an insiders' view of child-rearing, Junior League benefits, town gossip, and race relations.
Hilly is the town's white Queen Bee with an antebellum attitude towards race. She hopes to lead her minions into the latter part of the century with the "enlightened" view of making sure every home in Jackson, Mississippi, has a separate toilet for the help. Her crusade is, she says, based on clear hygienic criteria, which will save both blacks and whites from heinous diseases.
Despite the fact that the maids prepare the food, care for the children, and clean every part of every home, privy to every secret, many of the white women look at their black maids as an alien race. There are more enlightened views, especially those of Skeeter, a white, single woman with a college degree, who aspires to more than earning her MRS. Skeeter begins collecting the maids' stories. And the maids themselves find the issue of race humiliating, infuriating, life-controlling. Race sows bitter seeds in the dignity of women who feel they have no choices except to follow their mamas into the white women's kitchens and laundries. Aibilene says, "I just want things to be better for the kids." Their hopes lie in education and improvement, change someday for their children.
There is real danger for the maids sharing their stories as well as danger for Skeeter herself. The death of Medgar Evers touches the women deeply, making them question their work and a decision to forge ahead, hoping their book can be published anonymously and yet not recognized by the very white women they know to the last deviled egg and crack in a dining room table.
The relationships between the maids and the white children, the maids and some kind employers, including "white trash" Cecilia Foot, illuminate the strange history of the South. The love Aibileen shows for Mae Mobley matches the love Skeeter felt as a white child from her maid-nanny Constantine.
There is never a dull moment in this long book. It is compulsively readable while teaching strong truths about the way the United States evolved from a shameful undercurrent of persistent racism to the hopes and dreams of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. Ultimately, will the next generations children learn (and be taught) that skin color is nothing more than a wrapping for the person who lives within?
725 of 787 found the following review helpful:
a treasure of a book Jan 20, 2009
By Karen M. Gallo
I was lucky enough to come across an advanced reader copy of this book. Set in Mississippi during the civil rights movement, the story is narrated by the three principal characters...Minny and Aibileen, two black maids, and Miss Skeeter, a young, white woman newly graduated from college. The characters are wonderfully developed, as are the historical background and setting. As each character took her turn at narrating, she became my favorite character until the next one took over again.I was torn between not being able to put the book down and not wanting it to end.
216 of 232 found the following review helpful:
I wish I could give more than five!! Feb 23, 2009
By N. Gargano
I LOVED this book. I mean I LOVED this book. I could not put it down, and when I had to, I was thinking about the characters and could not wait until I had time to read again.
I grew up in the South in the 60's and my whole neighborhood had housekeepers or "Help". We had someone who worked for us, we called her Nursey, and she was my friend, and my caretaker. After my parents got divorced, she was my rock. This is way to personal, but my stepmother was a witch, and when I think what Nursey had to put up with to stay with me and my sisters, to help take care of us, I just don't know how to express it. She did not leave because of us kids. This book gave me so much to think about and brought up so many feelings, so many good, and so so many not so good.
I'm grateful when I think about the last conversation I had with Nursey before she died, I was married already, living out of town, and I talked to her on the phone. I was able to tell her I loved her and to say thanks for everything she did for me. Was it enough, did it matter? Who knows, but I'm glad it was said.
This is such a beautifully written book, so absorbing..and I don't know how else to describe it. But I do want to say thanks to Ms. Stockett for this wonderful book, that even though I closed it the other day, I cannot quit thinking about.
By the way, I read this on Kindle, and I have decided to buy a hardback copy as well to put on my bookshelves with all my other favorites. I find it hard to believe this is her debut work, I look forward to whatever else Ms. Stockett has to offer us, she is a wonderful storyteller.
1011 of 1122 found the following review helpful:
Entertaining - evokes the South at a point in time Apr 23, 2009
Having grown up in the South with "help" until I left home, I identified with many things in this book. Stockett has done a marvelous job of evoking time and place, from the food to the weather to of course the dialect.
I would have liked to have seen characters that were a bit more multi-dimensional. The maids depicted here were for the most part without failing, their white female employers almost universally despicable. As a male reader, I couldn't help but notice that the few men depicted were pretty miserable people, from the stereotypical wife-beating husband of Minny to the mostly one-dimensional husbands. The one standout was the senator, who was an entertaining character that leapt off the pages and added some variety. I think the book would have benefited from a bit more editing - I enjoyed the first 2/3 very much but then began to find it tiresome as the inevitable unfolded.
I also think that Skeeter's on-again off-again romance lacked depth - and wrapped up too abruptly. (Maybe that was edited out? haha)
Having said the above, I did enjoy "The Help" and would recommend it to others. It was a good first book for an author but leaves me wanting more from someone a bit more seasoned in building characters and handing multiple plot-lines.
See all 6759 customer reviews on Amazon.com
You may also like ...
start hide footer