The Help

by Kathryn Stockett | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780399155345 Global Overview for this book
Registered by princess-peapod of San Luis Obispo, California USA on 4/10/2009
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
17 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by princess-peapod from San Luis Obispo, California USA on Friday, April 10, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to visit us at Bookcrossing.
If this is your first visit to our site...welcome! I'm sure you'll find it fun!
All over the world people are following the journey of their books through BookCrossing, by making an entry YOU will be helping keep this book's unique history up-to-date. Our greatest joy at BookCrossing is knowing that someone has found & is enjoying one of our books! You can remain anonymous, but if you choose to join please list me, princess-peapod, as your referring member.

heard good things about this book so ordered it thru my bookclub...
From Publishers Weekly
Set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams.

So the above review sums up the basic plot, but I must say I really enjoyed this book. I started reading it on a Friday and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning as I wanted to know where it would go next. The characters each had their own voice, thus you would move from what Skeeter's thoughts and views were to that of Minny or Aibileen. (Don't you just love those southern names...there are some great ones in here!) Having grown up neither in this era or place, I found myself quite interested in the details shared about both. I look forward to hearing the thoughts of those of you who lived thru the period of marches and segregation.
Another aspect of this that I liked was the flaws shown by these central characters. In their shared effort of creating this book they come to learn more about both themselves and each other. This is a book about love and suffering, hatred and faith, fear and courage. It is about women of strength and dignity who carry on and manage to care about others despite an unjust system. It is a beautiful book, unforgettable in many ways. It is thought-provoking, humorous and compelling. The desperation of the maids and the bitchy nature of some of their white employers is compelling in it's honesty. I definately would say that this is a book I would pick up and read again at some point. The book came with a blue ribbon as a bookmark which I left in it...let's see if it manages to travel with the book?

"Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack." --Virginia Woolf

Journal Entry 2 by princess-peapod from San Luis Obispo, California USA on Friday, May 01, 2009
I am offering this book as a ray.

How this bookray works:
* Someone will PM you for your address, PM them back and provide your address
* When you receive the book, please make a journal entry letting everyone know that you received it
* Put the book at the top of your TBR pile (under other rings/rays that arrived first)
* Read the book (take your time and enjoy the book, don't feel rushed to finish it but try to pass it on within a month - others are waiting!)
* When the end is in sight, check the book's journal and PM the next person to get their address
* Finish the book, make another journal entry and let everyone know what you thought of the book then send the book to the next person on the list (feel free to use the cheapest shipping method available & delivery confirmation is your choice), make release notes or journal entry to let everyone know that it's in the mail
* END OF THE RAY, The last person on the ray~ it would be great if you try and continue the ray, perhaps a RABCK - look at wish lists, or release it into the wild or pass along to a friend to enjoy!

***I tried to accomodate all of the shipping preferences I was given...hope you all enjoy the read***

Please feel free to PM me at any time with questions

jlautner ~ CA (can ship anywhere)
valpete ~ CA (us only)
ladybug74 ~ AL (us only)
glade1 ~ NC (us only)
300dogs ~ NJ
dvg ~ NJ (us only)
krl112 ~ NJ (us only)
rrrcaron ~ NH (us only)
mysscyn ~ TX (us only)
easterngirl71 ~ IL (us only)
dabercro ~ Utah (us only)
dg7500 ~ PA (us or canada)
luckof ~ Canada (prefers Canada only)
hyphen8 ~ Hawaii (us preferred can do INTL)
judygreeneyes ~ CA (can ship anywhere)
agrace ~ TX (us preferred can do INTL)
mellion108 ~ MI (can ship anywhere)
penelopewanders ~ Switzerland (EU preferred)
iliotropio ~ Belgium (EU shipping preferred)
Qantaqa ~ Germany (EU preferred)
karen07814 ~ UK (EU preferred)
Lizzy-stardust ~ UK (can ship anywhere)
arturogrande ~ UK (can ship anywhere)
Bookworm-lady~ Spain (EU preferred)
cinderess ~ UK (UK shipping preferred)
purple-pixie ~ UK (can ship anywhere)
lils74 ~ Nepal (can ship anywhere)
mummafour ~ AU (can ship anywhere)
bookworm76 ~ AU (can ship anywhere)
leodog58 ~ VA (no shipping prefernce stated)
bookczuk ~ SC (needs to be last)

"There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love, and like that colossal adventure it is an experience of great social import. Even as the tranced swain, the booklover yearns to tell others of his bliss. He writes letters about it, adds it to the postscript of all manner of communications, intrudes it into telephone messages, and insists on his friends writing down the title of the find. Like the simple-hearted betrothed, once certain of his conquest, “I want you to love her, too!” It is a jealous passion also. He feels a little indignant if he finds that any one else has discovered the book, too."

Christopher Morley

Journal Entry 3 by princess-peapod at Avila Beach, California USA on Monday, May 04, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (5/5/2009 UTC) at Avila Beach, California USA



this book is off on a journey travelling thru the states, to Canada, Switzerland, Spain, the UK, and much more!
"A book is a mysterious object, I said, and once it floats out into the world, anything can happen. All kinds of mischief can be caused, and there's not a damned thing you can do about it. For better or worse, it's completely out of your control."
Paul Auster

Journal Entry 4 by wingjlautnerwing from Henderson, Nevada USA on Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Received from princess-peapod today.

Journal Entry 5 by wingjlautnerwing from Henderson, Nevada USA on Saturday, May 09, 2009
Ms. Stockett is no Eudora Welty, another southern writer, but she does have a voice and something to say. She writes to answer her own question from her youth: what is it like to be a southern maid in the 1950s and 1960s? And by "maid" I mean, of course, black woman working for white woman.

I don't know if she answered the question, and she admits that she can't positively speak for someone with such a different experience from her own. But she tries, and in the process brings home details of southern life that many of us may not be aware of. Although as she is of a different generation from her subject I don't know how accurate her account is.

As I grew up in the upper midwest and later moved to California, where I joined peace and civil liberties marches and was horrified by the racial violence in the south, I can't speak with authority about this time in that place (the south). But because of my age I do have some memories of some of the details of that time.

The story focuses on three women: "Skeeter", the young white woman, and Minny and Aibileen, black maids. Other major characters are the white women for whom the maids work, especially "Miss Hilly".

Skeeter, who has grown up in Jackson, Miss., is home from college and looking for a writing job. She is naive enough to apply for a position with Harper Row publishing in New York, and for her efforts gets a personal note from an editor there, who offers her advice: write about what disturbs her.

Perhaps because of her exposure to a more open college environment, Skeeter is starting to see her world a little differently and is not simply accepting things as they are. She is also shaken by the sudden disappearance of her dear much-loved "nanny", Constantine. who worked for the family for many years and who essentially raised Skeeter. She knows only that she has moved to Chicago to live with relatives, out of the blue. Throughout the book Skeeter keeps coming back to Constantine and why she left.

It is this experience that leads Skeeter to start looking at the black maids differently, and ultimately to befriend two in particular: Aibileen and Minny. And to start to take risks in her social life.

Skeeter starts to lose ground with the League, a southern institution that in some ways rules the social life of Jackson. Little by little Skeeter becomes an outsider and ultimately takes bold steps to cement that position.

The sections of the book alternate among the different voices, starting with Aibileen, maid to Skeeter's friend Elizabeth, moving to Minny, smart-mouthed maid who moves from home to home, and then to Skeeter. I am of two minds when it comes to writing out dialect as Stockett has done here with the maids. Is it insulting? Is it condescending? I'm not sure, but it appears that Stockett has a good ear for it. In fact, I felt that her writing of the maids' voices was often better and more real than the writing of Skeeter's.

The writing is a bit clumsy in some ways. The incessant use of the word "alright", which should really be "all right" (I know, I'm picky, but this one bugs me), the made-up words ("furiousness").

The story is the stuff of LifeTime movies in some ways. Female bonding - only this time bonding of privileged white women with underpriviledged black - an act of courage, and epiphanies for more than one character. It would also do well on the big screen, a chick flick with a little edge to it.

It also opens up discussion of the south - how it was then, how it is now, in a very personal way. And the country in general. As I was alive and aware then, I have questions about a couple of things:

* The use of the term "colored". As a child I learned "negro", then "black". Did "colored" hang on in the south way past its prime? (I suspect it did)

* Cigarettes. People knew they were bad for you long before there was a surgeon general's warning. My mother knew in the 1950s, when she smoked. In this novel it's as if such knowledge only became common when it made headlines. As with a lot of other elements in our lives, we tend to "know" long before we are told.

Like princess-peapod I am interested in how others view this work, particularly those who may have closer ties to the south and who lived through the 60s as I did. For that reason I am glad the bookring is so large!

oh, and I used the blue ribbon bookmark while reading.

Journal Entry 6 by wingjlautnerwing at San Luis Obispo, California USA on Saturday, May 09, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (5/9/2009 UTC) at San Luis Obispo, California USA



Mailed to valpete.

USPS tracking no: 9102785091401025633552

Journal Entry 7 by wingvalpetewing from Walnut Creek, California USA on Friday, May 15, 2009
I received this in the mail yesterday and have started reading it. Looks like it'll be a good one! Thanks for including me in the Ray.

Journal Entry 8 by wingvalpetewing from Walnut Creek, California USA on Saturday, May 23, 2009
I enjoyed this book. I read it quickly and was drawn into the characters and into the plot.

But, I can't agree with all the high ratings it has received. While heartfelt and a page-turner, THE HELP just isn't very well crafted. Many of the characters in THE HELP (e.g., the main antagonist)are two-dimensional and some of the key plot points just seem contrived and implausible.

The book does a decent job of depicting a very interesting time of transition (both for the races and for women), but it lacks nuance, and does not really challenge the reader.

I'll be sending it along to Ladybug74.

Journal Entry 9 by ladybug74 from Dothan, Alabama USA on Friday, May 29, 2009
I received this book today and will get started on it this weekend.

Journal Entry 10 by ladybug74 from Dothan, Alabama USA on Thursday, June 04, 2009
I loved this book from beginning to end. I live in Southeast Alabama, one of the most Southern places in the U.S. For this reason, the style of writing did not bother me as it did others before me. The dialect was written the way that people talk in the South, even if some of it was slang. I hate books that try to write with Southern slang and do a poor job of it. This book wasn't like that.

I really liked Skeeter, Aibileen, Minny, and Celia. Even though Minny did the "Terrible Awful" thing, which I personally thought was gross & sick, who could really blame her with the way that Hilly treated her?

Because I live in the Black Belt and wasn't born until the mid 1970's, I have grown up around many black, white, and bi-racial people. There is still some prejudice in the South, but I would have to say we have gone a long way since the time period in which this book was set. Things have changed a lot in the South, even since I was a child.

Journal Entry 11 by ladybug74 at Book Ring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Friday, June 05, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (6/5/2009 UTC) at Book Ring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



mailed to glade1

Journal Entry 12 by wingglade1wing from McLeansville, North Carolina USA on Thursday, June 11, 2009
Received in the mail yesterday. Thanks! I should be finishing up my current reads this weekend or early next week and then I'll get to this one, which I'm eager to read!

Journal Entry 13 by wingglade1wing at McLeansville, North Carolina -- Controlled Releases on Friday, June 26, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (6/26/2009 UTC) at McLeansville, North Carolina -- Controlled Releases



I finished reading this yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It did not sugar coat 60's race relations but also was not relentlessly depressing. I think the author, as she said in her afterword, tried very hard to find a balanced truth in the idea that there are as many stories and points of view as there are individuals. I think she generally found believable voices for all three narrators, with the occasional lapse into less believable language for some of them.

I like this book very much and will recommend it. Thanks for including me in the ring.

I mailed it this morning, via Media Mail, to 300dogs in New Jersey.

Journal Entry 14 by 300dogs from Jackson, New Jersey USA on Monday, July 06, 2009
Arrived safely today in New Jersey. I am just about to start a book so this will be next on the list. Looking forward to it! Thanks again princess-peapod for offering this ray.

Journal Entry 15 by 300dogs from Jackson, New Jersey USA on Thursday, July 23, 2009
It took me awhile to get thru the first few chapters of this book. I had a hard time following Aibileen and Minny's way of speaking. Once I got the hang of it, then it was easy reading from there on out. I did enjoy this book. I wish there was an epilogue, a few years in the future, to know what became of the characters, especially Aibileen and Minny.

I was born in 1971 and my family is from New Jersey. I aksed my Dad if that sort of thing took place in his town growing up, seperate fountains, schools, etc but he said no. It's so strange to think that that was common practice just a few years before I was born. It seems so archaic now.

Journal Entry 16 by 300dogs at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, July 23, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (7/23/2009 UTC) at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Mailed out to dvg in Flanders, NJ. I'm not sure what happened to your ribbon bookmark, but there is a nice one with books on it instead! Thanks again princess-peapod for starting this ray!

Journal Entry 17 by dvg from Toms River, New Jersey USA on Saturday, July 25, 2009
Arrived safely today and will start reading it tonight! I've been looking forward to this book since reading a BookPage review of it not too long ago. Thank you, princess-peapod, for sharing this with me. I will move it along quickly. Since it is a bookray, I am marking its status as reserved.

Journal Entry 18 by dvg at Sent to the Next BCer, Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, August 01, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (8/1/2009 UTC) at Sent to the Next BCer, Bookray -- Controlled Releases



This was an amazing read! I was a 60s baby but born here in the NE. I cannot imagine the lives of these women prior to reading this book. I am grateful for the opportunity to read this book; to watch each of the characters evolve into their own; to see the strengths and weaknesses of each of these women; the love, the sadness. I must admit that I was touched by all the characters, even the ones I didn't like! I just finished the very last page and I think I'm still absorbing it all.

It shows us how far we have come and how far we have yet to go as a society and as a member of the human race. This book should be a must read for everyone. Perhaps if everyone did, we would be a much better people.

I might come back and add a few thoughts. Right now I'm going to see if I have a blue ribbon to add to the book. I want to try and run it to the post office before it closes so krl112 can read it. =)

Journal Entry 19 by krl112 from Hawthorne, New Jersey USA on Monday, August 10, 2009
This book arrived while I was away on vacation. Thank you so much dvg for sending this to me, and thank you, princess-peapod for including me in this bookring. I have already read a few pages and I'm hooked! Cannot wait to get back to reading this.

PM'ing next person in line for their address.

Journal Entry 20 by krl112 from Hawthorne, New Jersey USA on Saturday, September 05, 2009
I enjoyed this book so much more than I thought I would! I wasn't really sure about the subject matter, but this was such an emotional book that I feel most people can connect to, regardless of their connection to the story. I live in the Northeast and I did not live through the 60's, but I found this to be very thought provoking and insightful. As for how accurate it was, who knows. It is a work of fiction, but I believe that the storyline is believable, shocking, and emotional. I've already highly recommended this book to so many of my friends, and I'm happy that this copy will travel far and wide. I'll be curious to see what others think.

Did anyone else cry at the end? Maybe I'm sensitive, but I found it very tough to read the end chapter without getting choked up.

Journal Entry 21 by krl112 at Glen Rock, New Jersey USA on Saturday, September 05, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (9/5/2009 UTC) at Glen Rock, New Jersey USA



Thank you so much princess-peapod for including me in this bookring. I really enjoyed the book, and I'm sending it to the next person on the list this morning. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 22 by Rrrcaron from Lancaster, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, September 10, 2009
I received this book in the mail today. Will get to it soon.

Journal Entry 23 by Rrrcaron from Lancaster, New Hampshire USA on Friday, October 09, 2009
I loved this book. I wish it hadn't ended, there was so much more I wanted to happen! I laughed, I got angry, I shed a few tears, I experinced many emotions reading this book. I would have loved to see how Skeeter made it in New York, and to see Hilly get her just rewards. I want a sequel, lol. Thanks so much for sharing this great read. Sending on to next in line....

Journal Entry 24 by wingMyssCynwing from San Antonio, Texas USA on Thursday, October 22, 2009
Returned from a trip to Dallas to find this in my mailbox. I finished my last two books while there so I will start this one tonight.
Thanks so much for including me.

Edit Nov 30th I am SO sorry to be taking so long with this book. I keep picking it up and putting it down again. If it doesn't catch my interest within a day or so I'll give up and move it on to Easterngirl.

Journal Entry 25 by wingMyssCynwing from San Antonio, Texas USA on Monday, December 14, 2009
I made one last push to read this book and I am so glad I did. It was a wonderful read.
I grew up in Western NY totally protected from any racial problems of the era. We were probably a 95% white communtity but I had some black friends. It was never thought of that they were black and I was white. They were just my friends.
This book just makes me want to cry to think that people could treat each other in such a horrible manner.
My sister-in-law is black and we've had many discussions of race and this book helped me understand better where her references are coming from.
I also read it from the point of view as being one of "the help" I decided to change jobs and be a nanny 12 years ago and it always makes me laugh when the moms of the little priviliged kids find out I am not the grandma. I am the help and most treat me the way they think is right. I used to be a Realtor, I did collections, I ran a count room at a big store, I was a front end manager, I drove a bus into NYC but in a country where there is supposedly no class system I am the help.

Edited to say Mailed to easterngirl71 on 12/16 Enjoy!

Journal Entry 26 by easterngirl71 from Alton, Illinois USA on Saturday, December 26, 2009
Have one and 1/2 books to read and then will read this one! Thanks:)

Journal Entry 27 by easterngirl71 from Alton, Illinois USA on Thursday, February 18, 2010
I enjoyed reading this book...It gave me a close look at the way people that don't look exactly alike were treated during the 60's. Of course that was before I was even born. But I wonder how would the white people that did have a black person working as maid, personal chef, and nanny all wrapped up in one, feel if the shoe was on the other foot? I have always felt that you need to treat people the way you want to be treated. And then I think to myself I am glad I did not live back then, and even before the 60's. The disrespect, acting like the help stole things...but there is always one person who thinks that they are so much better than everyone else ( Hilly in this situation). My goodness if these women didn't have help, I wonder what would have become of the children. Wow! That is all I can say. Thanks for sharing:) Heading out tomorrow!!

Journal Entry 28 by wingdg7500wing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania USA on Sunday, February 28, 2010
Arrived safely this weekend. I have another book to finish before starting on this one, but hope to get to it by the end of the week.

I really enjoyed reading this book...loved the characters, as well as the way the plot was laid out & written. It still amazes me that in my own lifetime, we treated people as 'less than' simply due to the color of their skin. We've made great strides over the years, but some days it seems like we still have a very long way to go. Thanks again for sharing this wonderful book...I'm happy to have been able to take part in the experience.

Journal Entry 29 by wingdg7500wing at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (3/23/2010 UTC) at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Winging it's way across the Northern Border and into Canada to luckof.

To the finder of this book:

What you have in your hands is an honest-to-goodness gift, no strings attached. You may keep it forever and ever, pass it on to a friend, or release it back "into the wild" for someone else to find. I know it may seem a little odd to find this lying around--it's my way of touching the lives of others in a positive way, with the hope that it made your day. :)

If you are new to BookCrossing, and find this book and this site, welcome! Enjoy the site, the book, and hopefully the BookCrossing community. I hope you'll join BookCrossing (doesn't cost anything to join!) and if you do, please consider using any previous reader of this book ... or me, dg7500 ... as the member who referred you. Or you may remain anonymous!

If you are an old hand at BookCrossing, thanks for picking up the book! Either way, I hope you'll make a brief journal entry so all the previous and future readers can track this book's journey. Thanks, and Happy Crossing! :)

"Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens ..."

Carlos Ruiz Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind)

Journal Entry 30 by luckof from Barrie, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Received this today along with a box of wonderful goodies and treats! Have one ahead of this which is almost done so hopefully will get to start this over the next few days. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 31 by luckof from Barrie, Ontario Canada on Monday, April 19, 2010
Wow -- what a great book -- I felt a bit of a "loss" when the story ended as I wanted more -- I grew up in the 60's on an Canadian Army base -- sheltered from the rest of the world I guess -- a lot I didn't really experience until "civillian" life. Interestingly though -- my husband told me he stayed with his Aunt and Uncle in Boston, MA for a few months in the late 70's -- and was appalled that in the late '70's they had a maid and treated her as such.

I have the address for the next on the list -- this will be travelling shortly.

thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 32 by luckof at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (4/28/2010 UTC) at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



On its way to the next person on the list! Happy travels...and safe journey -- sorry for the delay!

Journal Entry 33 by winghyphen8wing from Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Thursday, May 20, 2010
Received this today, along with some stamps for my mother's collection - thank you!

I have a couple of books ahead of this one but I'll put it at the top of the stack so I can get to it ASAP.

Other copies on my BookCrossing shelf: 11093155 15814958

Journal Entry 34 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Fascinating & sometimes terribly sad - the mind boggles at how things were, how far we've come, and how far we still have to go.

My grandmother once worked at a club that I'm fairly sure she wouldn't have been allowed to join. Not that their official literature is likely to have said so, but "everyone knew" that certain people simply weren't allowed to be members - they could only get in if they were the help. However, things seem to have changed, since the current membership director has a Asian surname. :)

judygreeneyes asked to be skipped, so I'll be sending this to agrace soon.

Journal Entry 35 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Friday, June 11, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (6/11/2010 UTC) at Honolulu, Hawaii USA


Mailed to Texas today via media mail, which generally takes about 3 weeks to get across the ocean. :s

Free your books - help spread the words!

Journal Entry 36 by Agrace at Frisco, Texas USA on Thursday, July 01, 2010
Thanks! Will start it as soon as I finish my library book!

Journal Entry 37 by Agrace at Frisco, Texas USA on Monday, July 05, 2010
I actually had a dream about this book last night and had to finish it first thing this morning!

Growing up in the late 60's in a Navy town in Connecticut, there was little open prejudice, but my husband's experience was different as he is four years older than I am and grew up in Texas. It amazes me what such a little time and space can make!

I loved the characters and laughed out loud at the "Terrible Awful". I did tear up a bit towards the end and, of course wanted more; that's what a good book will do.

Journal Entry 38 by mellion108 at Bloomfield Hills, Michigan USA on Friday, July 30, 2010
The book is here, safe and sound! Thanks for sending it my way. I have 3 rings/rays that are already here, so I will try to get to this one as quickly as possible. Weeks and weeks without any rings/rays and then they all show up one after the other...isn't that always the way????


Journal Entry 39 by mellion108 at Bloomfield Hills, Michigan USA on Saturday, November 20, 2010
I actually finished this book a while ago and then...*poof* went my memory. I apologize for keeping this book in one place for far too long.

Now for the good stuff...I loved this book! I liked the story so much more than I expected. I thought it would just be a cozy little feel good story, but it was gut wrenching, sad, funny, and inspiring.

Aibileen is the heart of this story. Her experiences of raising white child after white child, only to have them grow up with ideals just like their white parents, is so touching. The story calls back to such an ugly time in history—seriously? a separate bathroom for the "colored" maid so that no one in the white family has to risk catching "colored" diseases? Minny is the spirit of the story. She refuses to be broken down by whites or her abusive husband. Her mouth often gets her into trouble, but she holds on to her sense of self.

Skeeter, the upper-class white woman who goes off to college and gets all kinds of crazy, liberal ideas in her head, takes on a project that could end up with her being run out of town and Minny and Aibileen without jobs (or worse, probably dead). I was so intrigued by the story of how these women join forces and by the often outlandish citizens of Jackson. Admit it, we all read this just waiting for Miss Hilly to get what was coming to her. The story is charming and unsettling at the same time.

I think that Stockett does a much better job of building the African-American characters in the book. The whites are rather one-dimensional, even Skeeter. That's not to say I didn't like the book because I did like it very much, but I think Skeeter could have been more than the tall, awkward white lady with the budding social conscience.

I grew up in eastern Tennessee, and I loved the dialect of these characters. I could hear them talking while I was reading. I'm going to try to get the audiobook version of this book. This is a story that begs to be read aloud, and I would love to hear this in audio form.

Again, I apologize for keeping the book with me for so long. I've let myself get far behind in my book mailing. Penelopewanders already has a copy of the book and asked to be skipped. I mailed the book today to iliotropio. Thanks for sharing this, princess-peapod!

Journal Entry 40 by iliotropio at Bruxelles / Brussel, Bruxelles / Brussel Belgium on Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Help arrived safely in Brussels, thanks to mellion108!

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