Starred Review. Four peerless actors render an array of sharply defined black and white characters in the nascent years of the civil rights movement. They each handle a variety of Southern accents with aplomb and draw out the daily humiliation and pain the maids are subject to, as well as their abiding affection for their white charges. The actors handle the narration and dialogue so well that no character is ever stereotyped, the humor is always delightful, and the listener is led through the multilayered stories of maids and mistresses. The novel is a superb intertwining of personal and political history in Jackson, Miss., in the early 1960s, but this reading gives it a deeper and fuller power. A Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 1). (Feb.)
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The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a story that made me weep as I rejoiced for each of humanitys small but steady triumphs over hate and fear. I will never forget this wonderful book.
Dorothea Benton Frank
A magical novel. Heartbreaking and oh so true, the voices of these characters, their lives and struggles will stay with you long after you reluctantly come to the end.
Robert Hicks, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow of the South
I love The Help. Kathryn Stockett has given us glorious characters and a powerful, truth-filled story. Abilene, Minny and Skeeter, show that people from this troubled time came together despite their differences and that ordinary women can be heroic.
Jill Conner Browne, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of The Sweet Potato Queens series and resident of Jackson, MS
Set in the rural South of the 1960's, THE HELP is a startling, resonant portrait of the intertwined lives of women on opposite sides of the racial divide. Stockett's many gifts a keen eye for character, a wicked sense of humor, the perfect timing of a natural born storyteller shine as she evokes a time and place when black women were expected to help raise white babies, and yet could not use the same bathroom as their employers. Her characters, both white and black, are so fully fleshed they practically breathe no stock villains or pious heroines here. I'm becoming an evangelist for The Help. Don't miss this wise and astonishing debut.
Joshilyn Jackson, Bestselling author of Gods in Alabama
A wonderful book. A compelling and comically poignant tale about three women, and a time and a place that is in many ways very much still with us.
Beth Henley, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright of Crimes of the Heart
Lush, original, and poignant, Kathryn Stockett has written a wondrous novel. You will be swept away as they work, play, and love during a time when possibilities for women were few but their dreams of the future were limitless. A glorious read.
Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of the Big Stone Gap series and Lucia, Lucia
Full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.
PW starred review
This heartbreaking story is a stunning debut from a gifted talent.
It's graceful and real, a compulsively readable story of three women who watch the Mississippi ground shifting beneath their feet as the words of men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Bob Dylan pervade their genteel town. When folks at your book club wonder what to read next month, go on and pitch this wholly satisfying novel with confidence. A-
"[A] wise, poignant novel...You'll catch yourself cheering out loud."
People Magazine (3.5 out of 4 stars)
"[A] story with heart and hope...A good old fashioned novel"
New York Daily News
"This book was sitting on my desk and everyone kept coming in and when theyd see it theyd gush about it, I love this book. So I brought it home and it didnt disappoint. Its very much a book like you would imagine Oprah would pick for her book club. Set in the early sixties, its about female friendship and race relations and its heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.
John Searles, The Today Show
Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and Creative Writing, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. This is her first novel.
Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women:
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.