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.
Hardcover: 464 pages
Purchase at Amazon
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 nine years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter. This is her first novel.
The movie comes out today in theaters. I am totally going to see it and post that review as well. Give a book to film comparison, until then I have the book done.
For those that enjoyed the classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird, you will really enjoy this one. It doesn't have the girl being abused or the court case, but the segregation and treatment of African-Americans in the southern United States is what is comparable. The same anger, frustration and hurt I felt reading that book I also felt while reading this one.
For someone born in 1976, it's hard for me to fathom that people actually treated each other this way. I know it existed or even still exists, but for the life of me I will never understand why. Do you think a horse would guffaw at a zebra or be its friend, knowing they shared similarities? I like to believe in the latter, though more often that not it is not so. If I have learned anything, story or no story, people can and have been cruel.
So when will it stop?
These were questions I asked myself while reading The Help.
Now for particulars about the book....
I loved the characters! Aibileen, Minny, Skeeter and even Miss Celia. They were so well rounded that I felt like they were real women with real stories. Aibileen was a strong force throughout the whole story, but Skeeter was my favorite due to her courage to do what was right. Minny touched my heart in so many ways. I felt connected to her the most, since we were both abused women. My heart went out to her often.
I really didn't want the story to end. And now with the film out, it won't have to. This is a book that people will remember for a long time to come, and one I will make sure everyone I know hears about!
Recommend? YES, more than ever!
~I won my copy. I was not compensated for my opinion.~