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NY Times #1 Bestseller "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

Updated on January 21, 2012

The Help's Plot

The #1 New York Times Bestseller published in 2009, "The Help", is a story based on the racial segregation that took place in the south of the USA during the 60's. Situated in the conservative town of Jackson, Mississippi, this novel depicts the relations between white ladies and their employed black maids, an association that can be quite intimate at times but irrationally brutal at others.

The Help links together black and white characters, giving different viewpoints to the racial segregation topic. By illustrating the different feelings, thoughts and behavior of both sides of the coin, it gives a touching and complete panorama of the way thing where back then.

Narrated from the voice of Aibileen, Minny and Miss Skeeter (the three protagonists of the novel), this book tells the story of how three woman, separated by all the force of social conventions, join together and break the barriers of collective dictations, law and fear, to courageously speak up and tell all about what it really is like to be a maid in the white homes of the south, making public the good and the bad aspects of their experiences, despite the high risks involved in speaking up.

The Help might even touch a cord or two in today's society and current labor related relationships of the same kind.

Praise for The Help

"A nuanced variation of the theme that strikes every note with authenticity. In a page-turner that brings new resonance to the moral issues involved, [Stockett] spins a story of social awakening as seen from both sides of the American racial divide." –The Washington Post

"In The Help, Kathryn Stockett's button-pushing, soon-to-be wildly popular novel, the two principal maid characters leap off the page in all their warm, three-dimensional glory. Book groups armed with hankies will talk and talk." – The New York Times

"Pitch-perfect depiction of a country’s gradual path towards integration will pull readers into a compelling story that doubles as a portrait of a country struggling with racial issues." –USA Today

"Wise, poignant…..You will catch yourself cheering out loud."- People Magazine

The Help Deluxe Edition

The Help Deluxe Edition
The Help Deluxe Edition

The Help Deluxe Edition with more than 5000 customer reviews!!! A highly rated novel.


Main Characters

The Help

  • Aibileen Clark: a black woman with a quiet, complying disposition who has worked with white families all her life, raising 17 white children in the process, and fearing the day when her current beloved white child will grow and notice she is black.
  • Minny Jackson: a black outspoken woman that can’t hold her tongue or her job for too long and finds herself fired once again; thanks to her kind and loving friend Aibileen, she finds a job with a curious, mysterious, new-in-town white lady.

The White Ladies

  • Miss Skeeter (Eugenia Phelan): a recently graduated, aspiring writer who’s big dreams, observant humanity and love for her lost nanny and maid Constatine, inspire her to do something about the current dehumanizing injustice happening around her.
  • Miss Hilly Holbrook: an insecure white socialite who favors racial segregation, whose main concern is what other people think, and will go to extremes to be right and make sure everyone knows it.
  • MissElizabeth Leefolt: a passive childhood friend of Miss Skeeter and Miss Holly, who plays cards with them every week; she goes with the flow and doesn’t really show much affection for her kids, who are left at Aibileen's care.
  • Miss Celia Foote: a bizarre, out of the ordinary character that wants to belong.

Kathryn Stockett's Mini-Biography

Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississipi, town in which The Help takes place. 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 sixteen years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter. This is her first novel.

Comments on The Help, Kathryn Stockett's First Best Seller

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    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

      You are welcome Irka, I thought I should write a review with my opinion and also just subjective information about The Help to let people decide whether they would be interested in reading the book or not. I reckon the book was much nicer than the film. Let me know what you think.

    • profile image

      Irka Winniczuk 5 years ago

      Now that I read the book I definitely want to see the film again. Thank for revewing this wonderful book!!