The Help
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The Help

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4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  1,036,742 ratings  ·  69,569 reviews
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step...

In 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, two African-American maids and one white Junior League socialite—seemingly as different from one another as can be, will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating withing the lines that define their t...more
Audio CD, 464 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by Penguin Audio (first published 2009)
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The Assassins Club by Dixon RiceAnimal Farm by George OrwellThe Help by Kathryn StockettRoom by Emma DonoghueCorpalism by Arun D. Ellis
Great Books for Book Clubs
3rd out of 366 books — 52 voters
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16th out of 66 books — 35 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sparrow
Oct 21, 2012 Sparrow marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: read Coming of Age in Mississippi instead, please
Recommended to Sparrow by: Linda Harrison, Gibney
I have this terrible, dreary feeling in my diaphragm area this morning, and I’m not positive what it’s about, but I blame some of it on this book, which I am not going to finish. I have a friend who is mad at me right now for liking stupid stuff, but the thing is that I do like stupid stuff sometimes, and I think it would be really boring to only like smart things. What I don’t like is when smart (or even middle-brained) writers take an important topic and make it petty through guessing about wh...more
Joe
I read the first paragraph of The Help, absorbing the words, but suddenly being caught off guard by the dialect. I stopped reading.

I shifted the book in my hands, flipping to the author's biography and photograph on the back of the dust jacket.

Staring up at me was this:

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Oh, sweet Jesus, I thought. An affluent, white Manhattanite. Great. And one who apparently fancies herself a master at Southern Black Vernacular. Even better.

I rolled my eyes and returned to page one, fully prepared...more
Annalisa
Jul 28, 2009 Annalisa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Annalisa by: Jeana Quigley
Here is an illustrative tale of what it was like to be a black maid during the civil rights movement of the 1960s in racially conflicted Mississippi. There is such deep history in the black/white relationship and this story beautifully shows the complex spectrum, not only the hate, abuse, mistrust, but the love, attachment, dependence.

Stockett includes this quote by Howell Raines in her personal except at the end of the novel: There is no trickier subject for a writer from the South than that o...more
Caroline
I was uncomfortable with the tone of the book; I felt that the author played to very stereotypical themes, and gave the characters (especially the African American ones) very inappropriate and obvious voices and structure in terms constructing their mental character. I understand that the author wrote much of this as a result of her experiences growing up in the south in the 1960's, and that it may seem authentic to her, and that she was even trying to be respectful of the people and the time; b...more
Julie
I sat down one evening to skim through the first few pages of The Help to determine if I would proceed with a full read. I was immediately hooked and a couple of sessions later I closed the back cover. I didn't have to work hard- this is a compulsively readable novel. That this is such an easy read troubles me. Its subject matter is as heavy as Mississippi in August, but the tone is often as breezy as girls' night out in Venice Beach.

For all the accolades and attention Kathryn Stockett has recei...more
Ellen
The Kindle DX I ordered is galloping to the rescue today...

description

AND, for all the book purists (which would include me), this is a need, rather than a want. Post-several eye surgeries, I'm just plain sick of struggling to read the words on a page.

However, despite the visual challenges, I read all 451 pages of The Help yesterday. Clearly, the book held my interest. However, I spent last night pondering why the book wasn't as good as my nonstop reading would indicate.

What was wrong?

Most of all, I thin...more
karen

enthusiasm!!!

this book and i almost never met. and that would have been tragic. the fault is mostly mine - i mean, the book made no secret of its existence - a billion weeks on the best seller list, every third customer asking for it at work, displays and reviews and people on here praising it to the heavens. it practically spread its legs for me, but i just kept walking. i figured it was something for the ladies, like sex and the city, which i don't have to have ever seen an episode of to know...more
Maegen
While it was a well-written effort, I didn't find it as breathtaking as the rest of the world. It more or less rubbed me the wrong way. It reads like the musings of a white woman attempting to have an uncomfortable conversation, without really wanting to be uncomfortable. It's incredibly hard to write with integrity about race and be completely honest and vulnerable. The author failed to make me believe she was doing anything beyond a show & tell. And if her intent isn't anything greater, th...more
Nancy

Posted at Shelf Inflicted

One of my co-workers, a guy who isn’t much of a reader, borrowed The Help from the library based on his English professor’s recommendation. The guy just couldn’t stop talking about the story, so I decided to borrow the audio book. It’s not very often I get to discuss books with people in real life and I wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip by. Audio books are good for me. I was so engrossed in the story and characters that I drove the speed limit on the highway and...more
Jason
“It's true. There are some racists in this town,” Miss Leefolt say.
Miss Hilly nod her head, “Oh, they're out there.”


Law, this book be good! I’m on tell you how good this book be. Everthing ‘bout this book be good, you gone read this book and you gone see what I’s mean. Law!
Salome G
The story itself: This could have really used a better editor. I didn't understand why the boyfriend character was even in there--he added nothing to the story. In addition, Skeeter keeps telling us that Hilly and Elizabeth are her friends but that's just it--she tells us. We never see why she would want to be friends with either of them, Hilly especially. Other characters were equally unbelievable. All the maids are good people and so gracious to Miss Skeeter, save one. Reading their interactio...more
Lucy
Gush, gush, gush, gush, gush! I cannot gush enough about this book.

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, follows the lives of three women living in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi. Two of the women, Aibilene and Minny are black, hired as help to wealthy, or trying to appear wealthy, white families. Eugenia, or "Skeeter" as she is called, is a white woman recently graduated from Ole Miss University and trying to become a writer. She is what probably most of us are, kindly ignorant of the world around her. Rai...more
Thomas
Originally, I thought this book should have been retitled The Hype. At least that's what I told my friend. I remember thinking something along the lines of, blah, another story about racism in the old southern days? Must be the chick-lit version of To Kill a Mockingbird. Wow. I was so wrong.

The Help details the lives of three women living in Jackson, Mississippi, right when the Civil Rights Movement began. There is Skeeter, a twenty-two-year-old aspiring writer who terribly misses her maid, Cons...more
eb
An engrossing, vivid, funny, and important book about three women living in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s. Stockett writes in three first-person voices: 1. a middle-aged black maid who specializes in childcare, 2. a hot-tempered black maid who cares for a once-poor, now-rich white woman, and 3. a white girl who's just graduated from college and is floundering around. The Help is "about" race and feminism, but not in an earnest or heavy-handed way. Story is Stockett's first concern, and Jesus...more
Joanna
I've completed 69% of this book on Kindle, and must wait a week to read the rest. Roger is taking my Kindle to Ireland, so I'll be reading a different "real" book this week.
I LOVE this book, with it being one of my favorite book ever. The Help is well written and well researched, giving unique insight into the black maids living and working in the southern US during the early 60's. As a child growing up in Atlanta, Lillie Frazier came to our house three times a week. She loved and nurtured me in...more
Suzanne
Jan 18, 2009 Suzanne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
This first novel by Kathryn Stockett is amazing. This is one of those few books that grabbed my emotions and interest so deeply that I could not stop thinking about the book when I would set it down to attend to other activities (like eating, sleeping & working!). I was engrossed and couldn't wait to read more, while at the same time savoring every chapter as the story developed.

Stockett makes the characters come to life with her scene and character descriptions; writing in the 'voices' of...more
Maggie Stiefvater
Jan 26, 2010 Maggie Stiefvater rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone and their mum. and their barbers
Recommended to Maggie by: everyone's mum and their barbers
Shelves: adult, recommended
So, it looks like THE HELP is turning out to be one of those novels that I love despite flaws. Nearly everyone in the world knows what this book is about (as I pen this review, it is at #2 in Amazon sales ranking) but I shall reiterate: it’s the story of three women -- two black, one white -- in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, and how the two black maids work with the one extremely naive white young woman to write a book of their stories as “the help.”

In the spirit of honesty, I should tell you tha...more
Tatiana
I don't think this could be any more obvious, trite and cliche-ridden. The book's only aim is to make white people feel better about themselves. Guess it worked. Hence, its bestseller status.
Eric_W
This book has a kazillion ratings and reviews so I doubt there is little I can add. I found the story and dialog to be quite believable. As someone who came of age during the sixties I well remember the battles, both physical and verbal, between the “separate-but-equal” crowd and those pushing hard for civil rights. We lived in a suburb of Philadelphia and my mother had a lady come in once a week to do the cleaning. I happened to be home from school one day - it must have been a holiday or somet...more
Christine E.
I'm listening to this as an audiobook and I'm guessing I'm about halfway through, but I feel justified in giving it 4 stars. I might add or subtract a star when I'm done listening to it.

I'm glad I'm listening to this one, rather than just reading it, but I will probably buy the book too. It's written in the first-person, alternating among 3 women in early-1960's Mississippi - 2 black maids and one young white woman who has just graduated from college and is seeing the community she grew up in i...more
Amanda
**A few mild spoilers**


I liked this book. I really did. But here's the problem: I wanted to LOVE it. And, maybe, if I had read it before all of the hype, I would have. As it stands, I can only say that it was entertaining, but unexceptional.

Set in Mississippi circa the 1960's, the story focuses on three women: Skeeter, a white woman from a wealthy family who dreams of becoming a writer; Abileen, an intelligent black maid (with a closet love of reading and writing) who happens to work for one of...more
Cheryl
I may be a dissenting voice here, but really, what's all the hype about??
While i found the story line somewaht intriguing and the book did hold my interest, i didn't find it to be particularly engrossing, much less compelling.
The first thing that smacked me right in the face was the whole dialect issue. Not knowing much about the book, after reading the first few sentences I flipped to the back cover over to reveal, yep, you guessed it, the all knowing white lady speaking for the oppressed and...more
Wendy Darling
This is not the type of book I would normally pick up at all. My book club chose it for a monthly read, however, and I'm so glad they did!

This is a fantastically funny, warm, and fascinating book that I literally read in a day because I was so engrossed in the story. I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love with all the characters. This is one of the few cases where I can see why the book has been on the bestseller list for ages--it deserves every accolade it's gotten. I've since sent the book to...more
Laurel
4.5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this vivid story told from the perspective of three very different (but all incredibly strong) women living in Jackson, MS at the brink of the civil rights movement.

Eugenia (known to everyone as Skeeter) is a young white woman and aspiring author who has just returned home from college. At a local bridge club meeting, she finds herself troubled to hear of a friend's initiative to demand separate bathrooms in every household for the "colored" housekee...more
Mark
I loved it, sorry, but I really did. It is heartwarming and heartbreaking and a bit heart attack inducing when you encounter some of the characters who deserve nothing less than a big kick up their bigoted behinds.

Set at the beginning of the 1960's in Jackson, Mississippi it is the story of three women and the friendships that develop between them. The notable detail is the fact that two are black servants and one is a white woman of the Jackson gentry. The story is told through the accounts of...more
Becky
I'm so, so glad that I gave this book a chance. I've had somewhat bad experience with books that have been hyped as much as this one has, and I generally try to avoid the hyped ones, but for once, finally, here is a book that lives up to the hype and more importantly, deserves it.

I don't really have words to say what I felt was great about this book without sounding cliche. This book was brilliant on so many levels, I feel like I want to start it over from the beginning and listen to it again....more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This was sent to me by a dear online friend, but unfortunately I cannot read it. It opens in the voice of Aibileene, a black housekeeper, who speaks pidgin English, while her white employer does not even have a southern accent. Set in 1962, it is obvious this is going to become a civil rights story. While I will quite agree that this story needs to be told, just as holocaust stories need to be told, in order that we don't repeat the mistakes of the past, I cannot feel good about its trying to do...more
Lina
People may look at the status updates I've made about The Help and then wonder why I'm giving this book only two stars. While I won't deny this is an enjoyable "summer-chick-flick", the truth is that this book offers nothing but a very basic understanding of the times in which this story takes place.

The point-of-view is split between three women:

Skeeter: The white protagonist, newly graduated from Ole Miss who later on decides to write a book about the Help in Jackson, Mississippi. Her story is...more
Lora
Feb 17, 2012 Lora rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lora by: Flannery
Shelves: lib-audiobooks
". . . I think about all my friends, what they done for me. What they do ever day for the white women they waiting on. That pain in Minny's voice. Treelore dead in the ground. I look down at Baby Girl, who I know, deep down, I can't keep from turning out like her mama. And all of it together roll on top a me. I close my eyes, say the Lord's prayer to myself. But it don't make me feel any better. Law help me but something's gone have to be done."

Note: My opinion on this is very much colored by t...more
Lee
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GBHS Book Club: The Help 18 6 Jul 22, 2014 08:06AM  
Is racism still alive? 1577 3045 Jul 16, 2014 08:18AM  
Should i finish? 80 677 Jul 15, 2014 07:22AM  
Danske Læsere / D...: * Juli 2014 Historisk roman/"Based on a true story" : "The Help" af Kathryn Stockett 2 20 Jul 04, 2014 10:25AM  
Using God's name in vain 101 702 Jul 03, 2014 05:14AM  
To-Read Buddies: July 2014: The Help-Lorraine 1 3 Jun 12, 2014 12:42PM  
Help! Can't remember book title! 4 186 Jun 12, 2014 07:03AM  
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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 for nine years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter. She is working on her second novel.
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“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” 2920 likes
“Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision. You gone have to ask yourself, "Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?” 1029 likes
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