The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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.

I've been DYING to read The Help ever since I'd seen the movie previews. First off, I absolutely love stories set in this time era (1960's? Yes!) And secondly, I just loved the whole idea of this story, the topics and concepts so interesting. The Help definitely met my expectations.

Stockett had a wonderful writing stye, with narration that made me feel like I was in 1962 Mississippi. The book is told from three perspectives. Two of these perspectives were black maids, Aibileen and Minny, and the third was a young white writer, Miss Skeeter. Each narration was so distinct and strong, each main character having such a unique voice. Stockett's use of dialect and phrasing was extremely well done, in my opinion.

And the characterization was incredible. There was so much to this story, so many different sides and characters. Each character was well-developed and realistic, even Miss Hilly, the biggest racist in the story. What's interesting to me is the motivation Stockett put behind certain character. Why they felt the way they felt. It was very representatives of humans as a whole, and how environment affects our behavior. I find myself wondering why Miss Skeeter felt differently from all of the other women. Especially when her mother was racist herself. Did she simply just have compassion that others lacked? Most people are set in their ways, and yet some rebel. What triggers that?

This book is so thought-provoking, complex read in that way. You really see so many different sides of Jackson, and get to know the nature of the town as though you live there. And it's such a powerful read, one that I think everyone needs read. The quote on the cover compares The Help to To Kill a Mockingbird, and I do tend to agree on some level. These two books definitely contain similar themes, and are both extremely powerful reads about acceptance and standing up for what you believe in.

I definitely recommend this book to everyone. Fluid writing, intriguing plot, and a great mix of characters that you are guaranteed to love and hate. I loved it!


Gina said...

THanks for this review!! My friends were talking about this book today, and I was so excited when your review popped up on blogger! I'll be definitely adding this to my to-read list!

xo, gina

Evie J said...

I bought this for my mom the other day (got a a huge discount!!!), so I have to wait for her to read it! I can't wait!

Marisa said...

@Gina: Yay! It's a great read!!

@Evie: Whoo! It's SO GOOD. I can definitely see it being something you'd love! :D

Sarah said...

I've realy been looking forward to reading this, after reading your review, I'm thinking I'll have to bump it up higher on my TBR list! Great review! New follower :0)

Sarah @ The Book Life