The Help (Hardcover)
|Author: Kathryn Stockett|
|In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women--black and white, mothers and daughters--view one another.|
From the Publisher:
Limited and persecuted by racial divides in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, three women, including an African-American maid, her sassy and chronically unemployed friend, and a recently graduated white woman, team up for a clandestine project against a backdrop of the budding civil rights era. 100,000 first printing.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, AibileenÂ's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobodyÂ's business, but she canÂ't mind her tongue, so sheÂ'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 womenÂ?mothers, daughters, caregivers, friendsÂ?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 donÂ't.
At the outset of the civil rights movement in Jackson, Mississippi, three unique women unite to share the stories of dozens of the city's black servants, who have been kept voiceless for too long. Skeeter is fresh home from college, with big dreams of becoming a journalist, though her mother just wants her to find a husband. Aibileen, a black maid, is the heart and soul of her household, now working on raising her seventeenth white child. Her best friend Minnie, is the best cook in the city, but can not find a job because of her tendency to speak the cold truth. Together, these three unforgettable ladies launch a crusade to collect the stories of the town's silent servants, and try to tear down the unspoken racial barriers that traverse the homes and hearts of everyone in Jackson.
Customer Reviews of The Help
The story is told through the eyes of 3 women: two black maids and one white post-grad living in Jackson, MS during the 1960s. They tell their lives from their different vantage points. Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan is post-college, way too tall, and unmarried. Her best friends Hilly and Elizabeth are part of the League and she the editor of the newsletter. Hilly runs the League and by extension society of Jackson. She's a horrible person. Elizabeth is sheep...she follows. Skeeter is frustrated by southern society, deep-seated secrets, and a life she doesn't want for herself. Minny is ruled by her smart mouth and her anger. She's the maid to Hilly's mother and a mother of 5 and wife of an abusive man. Hilly blackballs Minny in Jackson so she has no choice but to work for Hilly. But Minny finds a way out. Aibleen is older, her son accidentally run over like garbage and dumped off at the hospital. Her only reason for living is gone. But she keeps working for Elizabeth who barely notices she's human...let alone notices her own child. Mae Mobley knows her her "mamma" is and knows to keep Aibee's "secret stories" of black and white and of a green alien known as Martian Luther King. Skeeter begins to write a story of the maids in Jackson as a means of repairing her own soul and of trying to understand why Constantine disappears from her life without a word...and why no one tells her why she left. While her book starts with Minny and Aibleen, she needs at least a dozen maids to confide in a white woman and risk their lives and livelihoods for "truth". She hides herself from her family, from her friends, and from her prospective fiance. The story has no ending....it's life. It's about what happened and how they moved on the next day. It's a frustrating piece sitting here today in 2010 with President Obama in the White House and read Hilly's "Nigra Bathroom Initiative" or hear about Louvenia's grandson being beat blind with a tire iron for using the wrong bathroom.
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