[Review] The Help - Kathryn Stockett

Title of Book : The Help
Author : Kathryn Stockett
Publisher : G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
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.

The Help is a book about three women-Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny, who have the courage to make a change in their community. Skeeter is a tall white girl who has a dream of becoming a journalist living in New York. Aibileen is a compassionate black maid who decided to follow her son’s dream. Minny is a sassy black maid who’s not afraid to speak her mind and only cooks the best meals in town. As a way to reach her dream, Skeeter wanted to write a book about working as the help for white families, told from the black maid’s perspective. At that time, writing that kind of book was dangerous, especially in Mississippi. She sought help from Aibileen, who’s her friend’s maid. Aibileen then asked her friend, Minny, and other maids to join the project. They risk their lives by writing the book with one goal in mind, to tell the truth.
Some people might think that this book would be depressing because it talks about heavy and important issues, but The Help is a quite light read. The Help was set in the 60s where racial was a sensitive issue and there’s a big movement for civil rights. It is also the year KKK reigns and President Kennedy gets assassinated. So this book does have its somber moments in it, but it also has heartwarming moments. The connection between Aibileen and Mae Mobley is so touching. this book also has its funny moments.
Now, we jump to my thoughts about this book. First of all, I love the setting of this book. I’m used to reading books set in the southern United States thanks to John Grisham and Nicholas Sparks, and I grow to love the southern atmosphere. Does that make sense? Then the characters, Stockett successfully created characters that are easy to love. I root for these three women, even for Celia the only one in town who wants to hire Minny, and the villain. Yes, I’m talking about Hilly Holbrook. She’s perfect to be the evil one in the book. I also enjoy how the chapters switch from Aibileen’s point of view to Minny’s, then to Skeeter’s. That way I could see from both sides, which are the white girl and the black maid.
I give this book four cats instead of five because sometimes I feel that Aibileen's narration isn't consistent. Stockett wrote each narration as if it was written by Skeeter, Aibileen, or Minny. Aibileen isn't really good at spelling, because she said that she doesn't finish school. I remember there are some difficult words that she could spell correctly but when she 'write' pneumonia, she spells it as ammonia. It could be nothing actually but it did bother me a bit.
The Help has been adapted into a movie starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer. I usually don’t want to watch the movie adaptation of a book that I love because I’m afraid it won’t exceed my expectation. But I watched The Help anyway and I like it. Even though the movie is slightly different from the book, it complements the book. I wasn’t disappointed. Anyway, The Help is an amazing book (despite its teeny tiny flaw). I really recommend this book.

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  1. One of my fave books ever :) I wish I could watch the movie someday :)

  2. the movie is also good. I cried while watching it