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The Help

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  2,306,473 ratings  ·  85,837 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
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 464 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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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 happe…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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Average rating 4.46  · 
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 ·  2,306,473 ratings  ·  85,837 reviews

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Meredith Holley
Apr 30, 2010 marked it as abandoned
Recommends it for: read Coming of Age in Mississippi instead, please
Recommended to Meredith 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
Sep 22, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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, then i ...more
Apr 02, 2015 added it
Shelves: owned
Hey so, while this book and its film adaption have long been favourites of mine I've learnt many things about privilege, racism and white saviourism since I first read this as a teenager. There are quite a few things about how this story came to be that don't sit right with me, hence I've removed my rating and I won't be promoting this any longer. If you want to know more about the reasons for this, google is your friend. The answer won't be hard to find. ...more
Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novels
The Kindle DX I ordered is galloping to the rescue today...


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
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"I know what a froat is and how to fix it."

Aibileen Clark knows how to cure childhood illnesses and how to help a young aspiring writer write a regular household-hints column for the local paper. But she's struggling mightily to deal with grief over the death of her 20-something son, and she SURE doesn't think conditions will ever improve for African-American domestic-engineering servants in early-1960s Jackson, Mississippi or anywhere else in the South.

Aibileen's good friend Minny has been a
Apr 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: it-is-for-class

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
Will Byrnes
Sep 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Help is a tale of lines, color, gender and class, in the Jackson, Mississippi of the early 1960s. This is a world in which black women work as domestics in white households and must endure the whims of their employers lest they find themselves jobless, or worse. It is the Jackson, Mississippi where Medgar Evers is murdered, and where spirit and hope are crushed daily. It is the Jackson, Mississippi where Freedom Riders are taken from a bus, a place where segregation and racism are core belie ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-fiction
I read this book at least 4 years ago, before I began to more consistently use Goodreads... and now I'm going back to ensure I have some level of a review for everything I read. It's only fair... if the author took the time to write it, and I found a few hours to read it... I should share my views so others can decide if it's a good book for them.

That said... did anyone not love or like this book? I'll have to check out some other people's reviews... And I wonder how many people just watched the
Salome G
Jul 10, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
ive had unpopular opinions about books in the past, but when its about a story that covers very sensitive and important topics, i feel especially guilty.

i am not sure what it is exactly that rubbed me the wrong way, but i just couldnt fully support this book. the writing was fine and the characters are decent. but when a story discusses such heavy and often uncomfortable subjects, i want to feel strong emotions. but right now im only feeling mild concern.

and the question that keeps bothering me

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
Mar 22, 2010 rated it did not like it
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 (you know, that same old a-brave-white-lady-savior story you've read and a few dozen times before). Guess it worked. Again. ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Help, Kathryn Stockett

The Help is a 2009 novel by American author Kathryn Stockett.

The Help is set in the early 1960's in Jackson, Mississippi, and told primarily from the first-person perspectives of three women: Aibileen Clark, Minny Jackson, and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan.

Aibileen is a maid who takes care of children and cleans. Her own 24-year-old son, Treelore, died from an accident on his job. In the story, she is tending the Leefolt household and caring for their toddler, Mae Mobley.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing and moving novel. So much so that tasks, appointments, and everything else in my life were put on hold while I read, laughed, cried, celebrated, hurt, and felt healed. Some friends once told me about a spiritual teacher who would often say, “There is magic in the telling”. The truth in those words vibrates throughout this brilliantly conceived and executed novel.

The author herself talks about the risk of a white woman telling the stories of black women living in an era of slow
Dana Ilie
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookclub
There is a lot to like about this book. It is easy to be drawn in by the storyline and the characters and it’s a pretty fast read. It’s a historical time-period I’ve been really interested, and I thought the portrayal of the events and the relationships were pretty accurately done.

The characters are really well done – they’re all pretty different and easy to tell apart, and they’re all so likable in their own real, sometimes prickly ways.

And I was impressed by the fairly even-handedness of the t
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, reviewed, for-kindle
“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!
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a historical fiction book about what it is like being a black woman in the South in the 1960's. This book follows a black maid mainly. As a white woman that grow up in the South I know things like this happen, but it makes me very sad. This is a great book that I did not want it to end because I wanted to keep reading about these characters. I could not put it down. I love this book so much. I listen to this book on audiobook, and the audiobook was so great. I also watch the movie base o ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that delivers on several levels: it is an entertaining and engrossing novel with drama, humour and sadness, but it also causes us to reflect on deeply moral and racial issues. While racism has existed for a long time and continues to unfold, the story provides a snap-shot into a time that is fascinating and how historically it manifested itself into society in the US. It’s a story of how servants or maids show more integrity and moral compass than their employers. It’s
JV (semi-hiatus)
“Do you ever wish you could... change things?”
There are only a few novels that end up in my Home for my heart shelf, i.e. a shortlist of my all-time-favourite books. Those gorgeous prose remind me of limitless imagination, life's trials and tribulations, overcoming overwhelming odds with tenacity, fortitude, kindness, the strength of character, and love; and sometimes, it serves as a personal reminder about that gaping hole that nothing can ever fill. The Help is one of those novels.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Matt by: Sarah Suzy
Shelves: buddy-read, audiobook
Kathryn Stockett has created this wonderful story that depicts life in America’s South during the early 1960s. A mix of humour and social justice, the reader is faced with a powerful piece on which to ponder while remaining highly entertained. In Jackson, Mississippi, the years leading up to the Civil Rights Movement presented a time where colour was a strong dividing line between classes. Black women spent much of their time serving as hired help and raising young white children, while their mo ...more
Apr 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Everyone
1.24.2020 update:

Whew I originally read this book when I was in high school and wow did I lack racial awareness then. I left my original five-star review below, though now I recognize that there are a lot of problems with a white woman portraying the south in this way. Here's a link to an article that explains this with a good amount of depth, featuring the perspective of Viola Davis:

Here's a concise Goodreads review I'd recommend checking out: https://ww
Maggie Stiefvater
Jan 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone and their mum. and their barbers
Recommended to Maggie by: everyone's mum and their barbers
Shelves: adult
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
Darth J
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
“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.


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
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa-and-canada
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
Reading Corner
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Help is a touching novel that explores the lives of black maids living in the racially unjust, Mississippi in the 1960s, by using the perspective of two black maids and a female, white writer.Minny and Aibileen are the two maids who are close friends and like many other maids, have spent the majority of their life cleaning up after white families and raising their kids.Skeeter is the third character the novel centres around, she fondly remembers her own maid, Constantine but lacks informatio ...more
An amazing book that looks at the relationships between African American housemaids and their White female employers in the early 1960s in the town, Jackson, in Mississippi. The book is written by a White woman from Mississippi. A book that made me cry with anger, with sorrow, but aslo with wonder and laughter. A fantastic work from first time published author, Kathryn Stockett! A book that is not as full of anger and pain as it could have been; and in my opinion, it is exactly that, that makes ...more
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I done finished this book finally !
I ain't never seen a book like this lately.
it were not too long before I seen something in me had changed, reading it ! May be a seed was immediately planted inside a me.

After finish it I seen a small baby in street. She very much like Mae Mobley Leefolt. When I see her, she laugh, dance a little happy jig. I touch her cheeks, she smile again.
Then I go to work but find her dancing again weaving her hand !
I'll try to righ
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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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