==== ====The Help--Kindle Edition---Click link below for reviews of this book by Kathryn Stocketthttp://amzn.com/B003WEAI4E==== ====Starred Review. Four peerless actors render an array of sharply defined black and whitecharacters in the nascent years of the civil rights movement. They each handle a variety ofSouthern accents with aplomb and draw out the daily humiliation and pain the maids are subjectto, as well as their abiding affection for their white charges. The actors handle the narration anddialogue so well that no character is ever stereotyped, the humor is always delightful, and thelistener is led through the multilayered stories of maids and mistresses. The novel is a superbintertwining of personal and political history in Jackson, Miss., in the early 1960s, but this readinggives it a deeper and fuller power. A Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 1). (Feb.)Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.In writing about such a troubled time in American history, Southern-born Stockett takes a big risk,one that paid off enormously. Critics praised Stocketts skillful depiction of the ironies andhypocrisies that defined an era, without resorting to depressing or controversial clichvs. Rather,Stockett focuses on the fascinating and complex relationships between vastly different membersof a household. Additionally, reviewers loved (and loathed) Stocketts three-dimensionalcharactersand cheered and hissed their favorites to the end. Several critics questioned Stockettsdecision to use a heavy dialect solely for the black characters. Overall, however, The Help is acompassionate, original story, as well as an excellent choice for book groups.2,784 of 2,937 people found the following review helpful:5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book in Years! An Instant Classic!, January 28, 2009By JK8 (Salem, NJ) - See all my reviews(VINE VOICE) (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)This review is from: The Help (Hardcover)Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (Whats this?)The Help is about a young white woman in the early 1960s in Mississippi who becomes interestedin the plight of the black ladies maids that every family has working for them. She writes theirstories about mistreatment, abuse and heartbreaks of working in white families homes, all justbefore the Civil Rights revolution. That is the story in a nutshell - but it is so much more than juststories.This is the best book I have read in years! I cant recommend it enough! It is fabulous and I thinkthey will make a movie out of it. I would compare it to the writings of Carson McCullers, HarperLee, Truman Capote and even Margaret Mitchell. The story grabs you and doesnt let you go. Youcan smell the melted tar on the Mississippi roads, the toil in the cotton fields, the grits burning onthe stove. The theme is the indomitable will of human beings to survive against all odds - becauseof the color of their skin. It is a heart-wrenching account and you will never fondly remember thetimes of the Jim Crow laws (if you ever did). The pure, down and out bitchery of the white ladieswho become dissatisfied with their maids and proceed to ruin their lives is portrayed vividly. The
desperation of the maids circumstances is truly touching. I have laughed and cried my waythrough this book and plan to re-read it. I highly recommend this book because it is going to betalked about as the best book of the year.Help other customers find the most helpful reviewsWas this review helpful to you? Yes NoReport abuse | PermalinkComment Comments (203)1,290 of 1,359 people found the following review helpful:5.0 out of 5 stars A New Classic for America, March 1, 2009By Eileen Granfors (Santa Clarita, CA) - See all my reviews(VINE VOICE) (TOP 500 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)This review is from: The Help (Hardcover)Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (Whats this?)A new classic has been born. Kathryn Socketts "The Help" will live in hearts and minds, be taughtin schools, be cherished by readers. The three women who form its core, idealistic Skeeter, lovingAibileen, and sarcastic, sassy Minny, narrate their chapters each in a voice that is distinctive asMinnys caramel cake no one else in Jackson, Mississippi, can duplicate.These stories of the black maids working for white women in the state of Mississippi of the 60shave an insiders view of child-rearing, Junior League benefits, town gossip, and race relations.Hilly is the towns white Queen Bee with an antebellum attitude towards race. She hopes to leadher minions into the latter part of the century with the "enlightened" view of making sure everyhome in Jackson, Mississippi, has a separate toilet for the help. Her crusade is, she says, basedon clear hygienic criteria, which will save both blacks and whites from heinous diseases.Despite the fact that the maids prepare the food, care for the children, and clean every part ofevery home, privy to every secret, many of the white women look at their black maids as an alienrace. There are more enlightened views, especially those of Skeeter, a white, single woman with acollege degree, who aspires to more than earning her MRS. Skeeter begins collecting the maidsstories. And the maids themselves find the issue of race humiliating, infuriating, life-controlling.Race sows bitter seeds in the dignity of women who feel they have no choices except to followtheir mamas into the white womens kitchens and laundries. Aibilene says, "I just want things to bebetter for the kids." Their hopes lie in education and improvement, change someday for theirchildren.There is real danger for the maids sharing their stories as well as danger for Skeeter herself. Thedeath of Medgar Evers touches the women deeply, making them question their work and adecision to forge ahead, hoping their book can be published anonymously and yet not recognizedby the very white women they know to the last deviled egg and crack in a dining room table.The relationships between the maids and the white children, the maids and some kind employers,including "white trash" Cecilia Foot, illuminate the strange history of the South. The love Aibileenshows for Mae Mobley matches the love Skeeter felt as a white child from her maid-nannyConstantine.
There is never a dull moment in this long book. It is compulsively readable while teaching strongtruths about the way the United States evolved from a shameful undercurrent of persistent racismto the hopes and dreams of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. Ultimately, will the nextgenerations children learn (and be taught) that skin color is nothing more than a wrapping for theperson who lives within?Help other customers find the most helpful reviewsWas this review helpful to you? Yes NoReport abuse | PermalinkComment Comments (26)==== ====The Help--Kindle Edition---Click link below for reviews of this book by Kathryn Stocketthttp://amzn.com/B003WEAI4E==== ====