"The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

April 2, 2011  by Kris from La Reportiste

Bonjour,  as I promised, here is what my take on this book is:

This book starts out in the year of 1962. It is a book about three ordinary women who's lives take a turn when they decide to work on a secretive project that will not only change the way they view each other but also on how the outcome of this project changes their individual lives.

Aibileen, a black maid who is a servant for the Leefolt family who is raising her seventeenth white child, a baby girl named Mae Mobley Leefolt. After the death of her only son, something shifted inside her. She is devoted to this little girl but knows both their hearts will be broken.

Minny, Aibileens best friend, who is short, fat and very outspoken is also a servant who cannot keep from opening her mouth and getting herself into trouble. She loses job after job but boy can she cook!

Skeeter 21, who has just returned home from graduating Ole Mississippi college. She grew up on a cotton plantation and has a mother who won't be satisfied until she has a ring on her finger. Normally she would find solace with her beloved maid Constantine but she has disappeared and no one is willing to talk about the circumstances of her departure.

As different as these three women are, they manage to come together to work on this clandestine project even at the risk it will bring to them. Why?

This book best describes the racial times in the early sixties and how black servants and blacks in general were treated. It is an enlightening book that will at times will anger you and yet other times bring sadness to your heart. I remember the early 1960's because I was around 10 years old at the time and the boundaries between whites and blacks were still very much marked. It goes to show that while things have improved they are still not where they should be.

I found this book to have some amusing parts which somehow makes it easier to swallow but it does not take away from the seriousness of the subject matter. Once I started reading this book I could not put it down and finished it in three days. I would give this book a rating of **** out of a possible 5.

Reading this book has given me some food for thought. I cannot help but wonder how I would have felt if I had been treated in this same manner. If, after reading this book, you come away from it not feeling some shame for how black people were treated then I will wonder if you even have a heart.

Happy Reading!

"The Help" is available for purchase HERE

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Vanessa@Luxuria said...

This was definitely the best book I read in 2010. It still haunts me today. I'm dying to re-read it again, to soak up everything I might have missed he first time around.

Heidiopia said...

Agree, Kris! Could not put this book down-- I have no idea what my children ate for 2 days on spring break because my nose was in this book the entire time. Extremely thought provoking.

Sue said...

One of my favorite books in 2010. Good news....it's being made into a movie!

edwinaowenselliott.com said...

The irony is, it appears that the author herself has behaved just as dismissively towards "the help" as if it were still 1962.

A Maid Sees Herself in a Novel, and Objects

Kris said...

I just read the comment and article A Maid Sees Herself in a Novel, and Objects and find it very interesting. Given how close the names and circumstances are in the book I can see how a lawsuit can be filed. I sure would hate to think that someone would want to capitalize on someone else's misfortunes without first asking permission. Makes me wonder about this author?

Maegan said...

I read this last year too, I devoured the book. I'm looking forward to the movie.

Maegan :)

Catherine said...

I know I'm one of the few who did not find this to be their favorite book of 2010. I thought it was a good story but had issues beyond that.

Here's my take:

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I don't re-read too many books but this one is on that list. I found it thought provoking and uncomfortable and that's a good thing. Enjoyed is not the word I would use for this book but a book to read and learn from.

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