Black women in the south
during the 1960’s worked as servants in white households where they cooked and
served the food, changed the linen, and raised the children. But if these women needed to use the
facilities, they had to go outside the house.
Eugenia Skeeter Phelan comes home from college determined to be a
writer. She is a bit of a wild card,
able to think for herself. She begins
collecting the stories of the black maids, an activity not without some serious
risk in the south at the time. Most of
all for the maids, whose jobs keep food on the table and who know that some of
the white population favor white sheets as an evening fashion.
February 2009 Indie Next List
“The Help recreates a time -- Mississippi in 1962 -- that is totally engrossing and pitch-perfect. This story of women in the South, black and white, in the eye of a hurricane of monumental change is thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable.”
— Sheila Burns, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, OR
Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List
“We've been telling our customers who are members of book groups to read this story of race-ridden, 1960s Jackson, Mississippi. Unforgettable characters live out a story that makes you rage against intolerance as you step into the lives of three Southern women who are committed to creating change.”
— Gail Wetta, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL
The #1 New York Times bestselling novel and basis for the Academy Award-winning film—a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t—nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.
Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who’s always taken orders quietly, but lately she’s unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She’s full of ambition, but without a husband, she’s considered a failure.
Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town...
About the Author
Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. 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.
Praise for The Help
“The two principal maid characters...leap off the page in all their warm, three dimensional glory...[A] winning novel.”—The New York Times
“This could be one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mockingbird…If you read only one book...let this be it.”—NPR.org
“Wise, poignant...You’ll catch yourself cheering out loud.”—People
“Graceful and real, a compulsively readable story.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A beautiful portrait of a fragmenting world.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“The must-read choice of every book club in the country.”—The Huffington Post
“At turns hilarious and heart-warming.”—Associated Press
“In a page-turner that brings new resonance to the moral issues involved, Stockett spins a story of a social awakening as seen from both sides of the American racial divide.”—The Washington Post