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The Help

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4.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,320,332 Ratings  ·  73,868 Reviews
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 Consta
...more
ebook, 476 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2009)
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Sidney I actually read this amazing book when I was exactly 12 years old, and I believe that it's crucial for children to understand that this actually…moreI actually read this amazing book when I was exactly 12 years old, and I believe that it's crucial for children to understand that this actually happened and it's not pretend. I would absolutely have your daughter read this, the voices are authentic and it perfectly sums up events that occurred during this time period. (less)
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2nd out of 492 books — 287 voters
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10th out of 33 books — 57 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
Jul 28, 2010 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gift, mlis-book-club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caroline
Jul 06, 2011 Caroline rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Annalisa
Jul 28, 2009 Annalisa rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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Ellen
Jun 21, 2010 Ellen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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
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Lola

“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?”

Color me surprised. I’m not one to read many historical fictions, especially when they don’t include any fantasy elements. They read like nonfiction, and nonfiction is only good for me if I’m in need of sleep. B-but…

The Help is different. It doesn’t only describe the life of housemaids, in the second half of the 20th century, in M
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karen
Apr 13, 2010 karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: it-is-for-class

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
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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
Jun 23, 2011 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-kindle, 2011, reviewed
“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
Aug 11, 2011 Salome G rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Darth J
Aug 04, 2015 Darth J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“These is white rules. I don’t know which ones you following and which ones you ain’t.”
We look at each other a second. “I’m tired of the rules,” I say.

-p.155


The Help spins the tales of women of color who worked as housekeepers in Louisiana in the early 1960’s, as told to Skeeter who will chronicle their stories and publish them anonymously in one volume. Her naiveté is shattered when she realizes the back-breaking labor these women do and some of the conditions with which they must endure to ma
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Thomas
Apr 25, 2010 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
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
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Tatiana
Jan 24, 2011 Tatiana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lucy
Jun 17, 2009 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
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eb
Sep 15, 2008 eb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 05, 2010 Joanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Maggie Stiefvater
Jan 26, 2010 Maggie Stiefvater rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Suzanne
Jan 18, 2009 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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Evelyn (devours and digests words)
This book tackles the issue of racism (among other things) in 1960's Jackson, Mississippi. I cannot stress this enough but The Help is seriously one of the most important story I've ever read. Since it's about civil rights movement, I first thought it would be boring, depressing and drawn out, but I was wrong. There are so many kinds of moments that made me laugh out loud, tear up, smile, and scowl. I really felt all the emotions here.

The story is told in three different perspectives: Aibileen,
...more
Theresa
Nov 22, 2015 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Help" is one of those novels that stay with you. I read this powerful book about 4 years ago. The movie is good but the book is WAY BETTER! Kathryn Stockett is a beautiful and gifted writer. This book is funny as hell, emotionally-charged, and incredibly uplifting (I loved Minny's chapters the best). Have some tissues handy, the ending is a tear-jerker. A must-read! 5 stars isn't high enough. Easily on my list of top 10 novels of all-time. "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." Yes, ...more
Cecily
Sep 01, 2014 Cecily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a powerful story about women's relationships with each other, and how they are affected by race (and class), told from the viewpoints of three women (two black maids and a young white woman). It is set in segregated Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962-64, at the dawn of the civil rights movement, but it's local and domestic, rather than looking at the big picture.

The first third of the book establishes the main characters and their situation and relationships; the rest of it revolves around a
...more
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
Nov 22, 2009 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
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
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Amanda
Jul 18, 2013 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
**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
Apr 25, 2011 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
Jason Koivu
Nov 21, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Help turned out to be more compelling than I expected.

The knocks on it pointed towards a privileged-white-girl-saves-black-woman plot pandering to the white need to feel better about USA's racial segregation issue right up until the recent past. That element is perhaps present, but more of Stockett's novel is told through the voice of black domestic servants. Their minds are freed to ponder their own form(s) of bondage. Their personal lives are developed, but it is mainly their interactions
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Laurel
May 08, 2014 Laurel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.” 3497 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?” 1263 likes
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