The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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, 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.
Review: I have had this on my 'to read' shelf for a while now, probably ever since the movie was released. I thought I better read it because so many people recommended it, even a few colleagues. I'm going to be honest and tell you that I haven't really read anything on black history and didn't know how bad it really was for the black community living in Mississippi in the 60's, So after reading this it really opened my eyes. I know this is fiction but whenever something horrible happened I thought to myself "It's so true, this probably happened somewhere and to someone for real'. This is such a sad story and the end almost brought me to tears! (And that's saying something because I don't cry during movies or books) At one stage in the middle of the story I had massive butterflies in my stomach because of a stupid mistake Miss Skeeter made in not keeping track of her property and it nearly fell into the wrong hands!! (I won't say anymore so it doesn't really give the book away) I haven't seen the movie yet but I'm dying to see it, I want to see all the characters come to life and how much of the book they will cut out. Usually I like to see the movie before reading the book because then you're never disappointed in the movie because it's left out so much but I have a feeling that I'll really like the movie. I gave this 4 stars only because there were a few things I felt dragged on and it just doesn't deserve to be up there with all my other favourites. A little side note... I listened to this on audio and I recognised one of the narrators. The voice actor who read Miss Skeeter's part had narrated the "Wolves of Mercy Falls" series so that was interesting to hear the same voice do a different part.
On the Cover: So the above cover is the one that I had with my Audiobook which I think is really pretty but I didn't get what it meant to start off with. Once I finished it though I realised that the birds probably represented the three main characters and the freedom that they want to not be kept in a cage.
That's my take on it anyway. The other cover is the movie cover which I don't always like as much as the originals.
Listening on Audio to next: Playing with fire by Derek Landy
Have you seen the movie and what did you think?
Bye for now ~ Sami X
*Picture & blurb taken from www.goodreads.com