The Help, Hardcover
The Help is a 2009 novel by American author Kathryn Stockett.
It is about African American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi during the early 1960s.
The novel is told from the perspective of three characters: Aibileen Clark, a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson, an African-American maid who has often offended her employers despite her family's struggles with money and her desperate need for jobs; and Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, a young white woman who has recently moved back home after graduating college to find out her childhood maid has mysteriously disappeared. These three stories intertwine to explain how life in Jackson, Mississippi revolves around "the help"; yet they are always kept at a certain distance because of racial lines.
A USA Today article calls it one of 2009's "summer sleeper hits" and notes the book's climbing of bestseller lists. An early review in The New York Times notes Stockett's "affection and intimacy buried beneath even the most seemingly impersonal household connections" and says it is a "button-pushing, soon to be wildly popular novel".The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said of the book, "This heartbreaking story is a stunning debut from a gifted talent".
The novel is Stockett's debut. It took her five years to complete the book, which was rejected by at least 45 literary agents. The Help has since been published in 35 countries and three languages. As of May 27, 2010, it had spent a full year on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list and was sitting at #1.
The Help's audiobook version is narrated by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and Cassandra Campbell. Spencer was Stockett's original inspiration for the character of Minny.
Author Kathryn Stockett
Publisher Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Published Feb 2009
Page material gelatine plate paper
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