The Help – Kathryn Stockett

The Help is the first novel by the American author Kathryn Stockett. It takes place in the early 1960s, a very important period for the civil rights movement. There’s a lot of unrest. It’s just after the Montgomery Bus Boycott. A protest that started with Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat for a white man although the busdriver told her to do so. John. F. Kennedy is president of the United States. His brother Robert Kennedy is the Attorney General. J. Edgar Hoover is director of the FBI. It’s the period in which the assistence of U.S. marshals is required to to enforce a federal court order allowing the admittance of the first African American student James Meredith to the University of Mississippi, the period in which Martin Luther King jr. is leading the “March on Washington”.

Miss Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan has big dreams of becoming a writer. Her mother, however, has other dreams for Skeeter: to find her a rich husband from a good Southern family. Realizing how badly the black maids “The Help” are being treated by their white employers, she comes up with an idea to interview and write about the black maids in Jackson, and their relationships with their white employers. A very dangerous project for all participating maids.

Never a dull moment in this long book. The story grabs you and doesn’t let you go. The characters are wonderfully developed, as are the historical background and setting. Sometimes the book makes you laugh but more often it makes you truly sad because of the way the whites treat the black housekeepers and maids. I really enjoyed reading the seperate voices in alternating chapters – Abileen, Minnie and Skeeter. So real that you almost hear them tell their stories in the typical accent in the Deep South.

I strongly recommend reading The Help, a great debut novel, four stars.

Reviews is USA Today, New York Times and The Daily Telegraph. The Kathryn Stockett official website and a CBS interview on YouTube.


10 Reacties to “The Help – Kathryn Stockett”

  1. Leeswammes Says:

    I also loved this book. It’s one of those books most people can appreciate.

  2. Debbie Nance Says:

    Our new book club chose The Help for our January read. I think we’ll have a good discussion.

    Here’s my Sunday Salon: Friendship Bread—Starter for a Book Club in My Town.

  3. borkadventures Says:

    I really enjoyed The Help as well. Have you seen the movie, and if so, how does it compare to the book?

  4. Dana Huff Says:

    I enjoyed this one a lot! I listened to the audio book, and the narrators were wonderful. The woman who narrated Minny’s parts actually plays Minny in the film.

    • JannyAn Says:

      In an essay about The Help I’ve read that the accents in the book simply weren’t right. The white people in the book don’t have any accent at all whilst they will have in reality. How was that in the audio book?

  5. Alyce Says:

    It was such a funny and good book! I can’t wait to see the movie (hopefully soon). 🙂

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