The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Published Date: Feb 10, 2009
Publisher: Amy Enihorn Books/Putnam
Synopsis: 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 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. -Source
I'd been wanting to read The Help for a while, especially since it was made into a movie. The big draw for me was it's southern roots, plus it's based in Jackson Mississippi, where I've been multiple times and have great memories of.
I loved that it has southern vernacular and little sayings that I'm so familiar with. There weren't too many (fake) "y'alls" thrown in just for the heck of it. It was all more 'old south' with phrases like "a goin" and "fixin". I laughed my way through most of the book because it all seemed so familiar to me, especially parts that reminded me of my grandmother or great grandmother.
The relationships between the ladies and their help was interesting. Some of them were nicer than others. What I really found fascinating was that in private a few of them were nice to their maids, but in public they were dismissive or rude. Keeping up appearances and all of that, you know.
Skeeter is such a great character, as are Aibileen and Minny. They truly came alive and jumped off of the pages for me. Miss Skeeters manuscript is almost like reading a book with-in a book. You get her journey of writing her novel as well as the stories the maids shared with her for her book.
I think if you are from the south, have southern roots you might like The Help.