Monday, January 16, 2012

Book It – The Help

This week’s featured book:

The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett

Overview: (from the author’s website)

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.

My Comments:

This is one of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It is the story about African American maids working in white households in Jackson Mississippi in the early 1960s. Writing from the point of view of numerous characters, and combining fact and fiction, Kathryn Stockett has done a remarkable job of weaving a tale that depicts a turbulent era. At times humorous and fun, at other times serious and intriguing, this is an unforgettable story. If you haven’t read it yet, pick up a copy today. But be careful; once you start this story, you won’t be able to put it down...


  1. Didn't read the book but saw the movie -- it certainly had some memorable moments!

  2. Sounds like a great story from everything I've been hearing. I haven't seen the movie yet - this is one where I'd like to read the book first.

  3. I've done this one backwards, saw the movie before reading the book. I usually never do that! I suspect the book is better. The movie fell flat for me.

  4. @Debra: I haven't seen the movie yet, but I hope to soon.

    @Jane: You should read the book first! It's fantastic. I find that movies are rarely as good as the books they're made from.

    @LaelShine: Don't let the movie discourage you from reading the book; it's probably much, much better.

  5. Yep - just finished that a few weeks ago, and still thinking about it. It's a wonderful book indeed, and I got quite invested in the characters. I'm super glad it was overall a 'light-er' read without any tragedy I was sure would happen around the corner.

  6. @Tatiana: I feel the same way. I was holding my breath towards the end. I'm hoping to see the movie soon. I hope they've portrayed the characters well.