Book Review: 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is at heart a story about justice coming to the mean girl.

In the case of this story, mean girl Hilly Holbrook is the self-appointed empress of Mississippi society in the early 1960s. Like any other bully, she wields power because she nobody challenges her when she calls the shots. Hilly is as manipulative as she is selfish. The only area of her life in which Hilly does not distinguish between black and white is in her desire to run lives. She runs everybody’s—and woe betide anyone who crosses Hilly. She is merciless.

Stockett’s story looks at life in Jackson, Mississippi, through the eyes of black maids Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson and the college-educated farmer’s daughter Skeeter Phelan, who moves in Hilly’s social circle. Stockett’s fictional women tell their stories at the same time they tell the story of the South during the dying days of the Jim Crow era.

The three women’s stories wrap round each other as they describe their experiences of the same people in Jackson. As their story-telling takes on a singular purpose, it embraces the stories of more and more women—black and white. Their lives are indeed integrated.

Eventually, this town in the Deep South bumps into a new era that refuses to leave it behind. As the Civil Rights Movement takes shape, so does the desire for genuine freedom take shape in the minds of these women—black and white.

The women in this novel who free themselves from the trap of old ideas remind the reader that freedom is a choice, and it must boldly be taken.

The Help is a beautiful book.

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  1. sounds like a book to read Sandy :)

  2. that is a beautiful post!

    Aloha from Honolulu

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  3. I think that's the book that was made into a movie recently. It sounds interesting...

  4. I read The Help when it first came out. I loved it so I bought it for my 13 year old daughter to read. She loved it. I took her to see it at the theatre. It followed the book quite closely and is worth seeing.

  5. It's an interesting post, Sandy.

  6. I too wanted to see this at the theater but the opportunity passed me by. I haven't had a chance to read the book yet.
    Great review...must get to reading now! Ha!

  7. Sounds really interesting!

  8. I love the book. XM radio had it on their book channel so I got to "read" it again during my morning commute. Loved the movie also.

  9. Appears to be a great story-line. On the wish-list, yes!


  10. Yes, I read it recently and I enjoyed it very much. Your review is so nicely written.

  11. Anonymous11:52 AM

    It is such a great book!


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