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There's Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son's tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from College, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared. Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they'd be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in a search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell...'Movies based on books you really love, often disappoint. Oh joy oh joy, the big screen version of Kathryn Stockett's huge bestseller THE HELP, is every bit as sensational as the book. Set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962, two black women decide to spill the beans on life as maids in white households to a young white woman who dreams of becoming a writer. Equal amounts of courage and malice swirl about this tale of racism, unexpected friendship, empowerment and the tug of war between the desire to fit in and the need to be true to yourself. Emma Stone shines as the bolshie Skeeter and the poisonous Hilly is played with syrupy nastiness by Bryce Dallas Howard. But it's Octavia Spencer as the chocolate pie baking Minny, who nearly walks away with the movie.
- Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- Publication Date:
- PENGUIN BOOKS LTD
- Country of origin:
- Film tie-in ed
- 464 pages
- Dimensions (mm):
- 198 x 129
Average rating from customers
Read customer reviews on The Help
a wonderful, moving tale
The Help is the first novel by Kathryn Stockett. Set in the early sixties in Jackson, Mississippi, the story is narrated in three voices: two black maids (help) and a young white woman. Aibileen Clark is a wise Negro woman who has raised 17 white children, and lost a son of her own. She works for Elizabeth and Raleigh Leefolt and derives great joy from their Baby Girl, Mae Mobley, although she is under no illusion that this will last. Minny Jackson is a sassy young Negro with a talent for cooking who has trouble keeping her opinions to herself, a trait that has seen her fired from a great many positions. Her latest job is for newcomers, Celia and Johnny Foote, whom she hopes wont hear of her reputation; Celia, though, is too busy keeping her own secrets. Eugenia (Skeeter) Phelan has just graduated from college, where her Mama hoped she would find a husband, but Skeeter wants to be a writer much more than a wife. She misses her beloved Negro maid, Constantine, who has disappeared and no one will tell her where. When Skeeters writing ambition crystallises into a book about the experiences of black maids in white households, Aibileen and Minny decide to become involved despite the enormous risk.
This novel touches on many topics, including racial segregation and civil rights and the relationship between Negro employees and their white employers. The feel of the sixties is beautifully evoked with the inclusion of many icons like the Pill, Valium, space exploration, ring pull cans, the Vietnam war, the introduction of Zip codes and sex before marriage. The characters are multifaceted and the dialogue is pitch-perfect. There is humour and heartache, cruelty and kindness, romance and suspense. We learn that revenge is sweet, especially in the form of Minnys Chocolate Pie. The prose is, on occasions, luminous: If chocolate was a sound, it wouldve been Constantines voice singing. The ultimate lesson is that the lines between black and white, between quality and trash, between employer and employee are not as definite as they might at first seem. And, as Aibileen says Kindness dont have no boundaries. One of the dangers of reading a novel with so much hype is the very real possibility that the readers expectations will be too high, and disappointment follows; the exception is, of course, when the novel lives up to the hype, as this one assuredly does. I loved this wonderful, moving story.