Book Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

All of the opinions on this book are my own.

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“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

Synopsis: 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.

Sometimes books can throw you through all kinds of emotions, and this book belongs on that list. This book completely engulfed me with feelings. It’s story will stick with me forever.

The characters of this book were all amazingly written. Skeeter sounds like such a wonderful woman, sticking up for others and not treating people differently from each other. Aibileen looks like such a warm and loving woman, never losing her patience. She must have such a big heart. Minny made me laugh with her sassiness. She sure knows how to get people on their toes. Celia Rae Foote was also a character I admired. Besides every other white woman with a black maid, she is nice and doesn’t treat her maid as a slave. Same as her dearing husband Johnny Foote. I could appreciate all these characters a lot.

This book has so much contrast in characters, with nice characters on one side and villains on the other. Main character in this category is Hilly Holbrook. She acted like the boss of the gang, steering the whole operation. Besides her stands Elizabeth Leefolt, who follows her in all she says. These are the characters that made me the angriest. They added to all the aspects of segregation, one leading and provoking and others following.

The whole book centers on the racial divide between black and white. One mayor event is that Hilly is building a bathroom for her maid Aibileen in the garage outside the house, so she doesn’t have to go to the same bathroom as white people. Hilly claims that black people carry diseases that can’t be carried to the white people with a separate bathroom. It really shows the impact of the segregation between black and white in the 60s. It made me feel disgusted to read and know that this was happening for real. There is a scene where the child of Hilly, Mae Mobly, goes to aibileen’s bathroom. This shows the innocence of the child, which doesn’t know and doesn’t care about the difference between black and white.

Skeeter is a real role model. Having a degree and the potential to go away and live a good life, but deciding to stand up for a good cause and leave that promising life behind. It’s very inspirational to read about the way she decides to help the maids and do something she can get in real trouble for. It’s lovely to see in the book that not every white person wants a divide between black and white people. Next to Skeeter, Celia and Johnny Foote are also wonderful people. From the beginning I thought they were a nice couple, and the relationship between Celia and Minny was a beautiful development. We get to know the dark sides of Celia’s life, all the hard things she had to go through.

I cried with this book, and I laughed with this book. When the book ended, I was sad that it didn’t have more pages. The point of the book is so beautiful and lifts your spirit. I hope to come across many more of these sorts of books in the future. 5/5 stars.

Any thoughts? Let me know!

Happy reading.

 

 

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