Friday, April 20, 2012

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help
by Kathryn Stockett

From the back of the book:

Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, raising her seventeenth white child. She's always taken orders quietly, but lately it leaves her with a bitterness she can no longer bite back. Her friend Minny has certainly never held her tongue, or held on to a job for very long, but now she's working for a newcomer with secrets that leave her speechless. And white socialite Skeeter has just returned from college with ambition and a degree but, to her mother's lament, no husband. Normally Skeeter would find solace in Constantine, the beloved maid who raised her, but Constantine has inexplicably disappeared.

Together, these seemingly different women join to work on a project that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town-to write, in secret, a tell-all book about what it's really like to work as a black maid in the white homes of the South. Despite the terrible risks they will have to take, and the sometimes humorous boundaries they will have to cross, these three women unite with one intention: hope for a better day.

Warning: possible spoilers!

I may be the only person in the U.S. that hasn't seen this movie, but I'm glad I read this book. It's full of suspense, tearful moments, laugh out loud moments, and biting your nails moments, along with such good writing that it was hard to put down.

My favorite character was Miss Celia, the "newcomer" that Minny begins working for. She is full of secrets, and I'm hoping the author will do another novel based solely on her. Actually, I think the author could do a slew of novels based on other characters, or the same characters after this book.

 There are other female characters that are interesting in this book also. Miss Elizabeth is Aibileen's employer, and she is very mellow, but follows the crowd. We get glimpses that she really isn't a very good mother. Miss Hilly is the antagonist in the book (and former employer of Minny), but her interaction with her children shows she loves them very much. There are other characters also, that are viewed as one way, but the more the book goes on, we find out they are much different than they are assumed to be.

One thing I didn't like about the book was the ending. I was hoping for more stories/lives to wrap up. I'd definitely read a new novel on Skeeter and her life after this book, as well as Aibileen and Minny. All three women's lives changed dramatically during the course of the book, and I'd love to read about all three and how their new lives turned out.

Now the only thing left for me is to see the movie. I had a hard time picturing the people, fashions, etc in the story, and so the movie should help with that. What I think is funny is that Emma Stone played Skeeter in the movie. I totally didn't picture her like this. I thought she would not be pretty at all, based on the description in the book. But, based on the article linked above (click the picture), apparently the author thought she was a good fit, so I guess she may be! (Maybe I ought to see this movie before making judgements!)

Overall, an excellent read and I can't wait to see the movie! What did you think of this book/movie?

I'm linking up with Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books. Enjoy your day and your latest book!


  1. I loved this book! I'm in line with you for last to see the movie. After reading the book, I was determined to see it, but I'm not much of a movie-goer. One of these days I'll manage, but I expect the book is better.

  2. I can't believe I haven't read this book before! It's definitely being added to my TBR list right now!

  3. I started reading this book--really enjoyed it. Then, I got sidetracked. I really need to pick it back up! Thanks for the review.