Jul 23, 2011

Review: Kathryn Stockett - The Help

Kathryn Stockett - The Help

• Pub. Date: February 2009
• Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
• Format: Compact Disc (15 discs)

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.

Finally! My second 5-star book for this year. Man, I really enjoyed this novel!! It's complex, deep, entertaining, funny, depressing, and inspirational. All the characters work together to make this supremely unique and fantastic novel. Three women narrate this book seamlessly. And as an audio book, I greatly enjoyed the different voices, accents, and performances in general.

Miss Skeeter just graduated from college and wishes to write. She wants to create a novel based on interviews with the colored maids of the town she lives in. No one wants to cooperate because it's an extremely dangerous task. Soon, Aibileen and Minny, completely opposite maids of Jackson, come together to help Skeeter with her project. It turns into something so much bigger than any of them expected.

This novel also takes us through these extraordinary women's personal lives. Each of them has a story of their own to share while making this book come to life. They are amazing, strong, brave women. They have such admirable skills and traits. Definitely a must read!

I just can't get over how much I loved this story!! :o)

What I liked:
  • The audio book. The narrators were spectacular. Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and Cassandra Campbell do a wonderful job of making these characters really come to life!
  • The emotion. You feel everything these characters do. Stockett is amazing at making you feel like you're right in the story.
  • Comedy. Some of this is funny as heck! Minny's story is outrageous. I laughed as much as I was sad and worried for these women.
  • The story. It's so unique right now and told seamlessly through three women who are brave and courageous. It's first person, present tense (and y'all know how much I love that!). It felt authentic, and it took me back to a time I've never experience but feel like I can understand better now. It's very inspirational.
What I didn't like:
  • The idea. Obviously we don't segregate anymore, so wrapping my head around it really was hard and awful. This isn't really a dislike.. I just can't believe our country has done things as despicable as that.
Bottom line: This is an absolute MUST read!! And now I can't wait for the movie!!


5/5 book sharks!!!!


  1. I agree that it's a must read (actually, a must listen)! In fact, I think it's my favorite audio book ever, and it's the first one that made me OK with ensemble casts doing the reading. I saw that Octavia Spencer is actually playing Minny in the movie, which I think is *awesome*.

    I agree that the segregation part of the story was really hard to get past - OMG, poor Aibileen! And I also can't believe this was Kathryn Stockett's first novel - I can't wait to see what she does next! Great review!

  2. I loved this one as well! It was the first book I blogged about, actually. :) Great review- I'm looking forward to the movie as well!

  3. I've had a paperback copy of this sitting on my TBR pile for a while now!! I really must get round to it.

    Great review

  4. Glad you liked it - this one is on my must-read list after I finish the Outlander series!

  5. I am waiting with baited breath for the movie. I hope it is as good as the book!

  6. I have this book! Just have to get through a few more before I can read it. So glad you enjoyed it!

  7. I read this book a while back, and I devoured it in less than 48 hours. I mean, I neglected my family to read it. I too couldn't believe the horror those women lived through. I couldn't believe that my family-people I love and trust so much-probably acted the same way as the people in the book (being that I am from the South). How awful.

    But...I am excited to say that during the night last night, my awesome library delivered my digital audiobook copy of this book to my inbox, so now I can listen to it! Reading the book was TRULY AMAZING, but I have heard that listening to it gives it a completely different depth. I can't wait to get started.

    Loved your thoughts.

  8. Thanks everyone!! Great comments! I've enjoyed reading all of your points of view on this novel. It's a wonderful book, and I'm glad you've all either read it and loved it or want to read it soon, which I highly recommend!! ;o)

    And I definitely recommend the audio book!! Even if you've read it, listen to it. I promise, you'll enjoy it!


  9. I am so looking forward to the movie too. Definitely glad I finally read this one.

  10. Loved this book also! So glad I finished it up yesterday and now I can't wait for the movie! Maybe we can go see it together?

  11. yay, that you got Paradise! Hope you like all of your great stuff this week.


  12. ...and I wrote that on the wrong post. ;)

  13. The author writes expressively, concisely and movingly. What a courageous topic to tackle. Recommend this book to everyone. It's a chapter in American history that should be told and learned.
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