The Help by Kathryn Stockett

June 5, 2012
I recently read the very compelling book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I came across this historical fiction book by the movie that was inspired by it, I loved it and wanted to read the book. I like the book much better, because it had a lot more detail. This is the story of rich white ladies and their African-American maids, in Jackson, Mississippi. It takes place in the controversial era of the sixties. The main character, Skeeter Phelan is a young rich white woman who had practically been raised by her own maid because her mother was too “busy.” Skeeter was very friendly to the maids and treated them like they were equals, unlike her snooty society friends. Skeeter is an aspiring writer and thinks up a brilliant idea. She wants to write a book in the point of view of “the help.” She then seeks out help from Aibleen and Minny, her society friend’s, Hilly and Elizabeth’s maids. They are very weary of helping Skeeter, because it could get them arrested and fired by their “white lady” (what the maids call them).

Throughout this story you feel like you’re there in Mississippi with the three woman. You feel their pain and anger about segregation and racial differences. Reading this book is also a learning experience. I learned in detail about how poorly black people were treated and how awful living conditions were for them in the south. This book made me think differently about what I say and how I treat people. I am a lot less judgemental now and I don’t make assumptions about people.

Kathryn Stockett, the author grew up in Jackson and she wrote upon her experiences with her help and they way society actually was. She has written no other books, but this one is acclaimed and has won awards. In my opinion she is a fantastic author. My favorite quote by her is “ugly live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful mean person. Is you one a them peoples?” This quote was really powerful and very true.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves history. But I think that any adult would like it. It brings you back in time to a whole other world where everything was much simpler than today. I hope you try this book. It’s a keeper.





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