The Help

By Kathryn Stockett
(Putnam Adult, Hardcover, 9780399155345, 464pp.)

Publication Date: February 10, 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc, Paperback, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the February 2009 Indie Next List
“The Help recreates a time -- Mississippi in 1962 -- that is totally engrossing and pitch-perfect. This story of women in the South, black and white, in the eye of a hurricane of monumental change is thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable.”
-- Sheila Burns, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, OR
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List
“We've been telling our customers who are members of book groups to read this story of race-ridden, 1960s Jackson, Mississippi. Unforgettable characters live out a story that makes you rage against intolerance as you step into the lives of three Southern women who are committed to creating change.”
-- Gail Wetta, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL


Description

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.




About the Author

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 and marketing for nine years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter. This is her first novel.




NPR
Sunday, Jul 10, 2011

We're visiting bookstores around the country this month to find out what people are picking for their summer reads. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with Francoise Paheau, owner of Garcia Street Books, about what her customers are reading this summer. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Wednesday, Dec 23, 2009

Kathryn Stockett's first novel, The Help, has become a New York Times best-seller — and it has its readers buzzing about its racial themes. She says the book is not autobiographical, even though she was raised in Mississippi with a black maid. But Stockett says criticism over how she characterizes the black maids makes her "cringe." More at NPR.org

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