Enter a vanished world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962.
Where black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted
not to steal the silver...
There's Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the
hurt caused by her own son's tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is
nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from
college, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared.
Skeeter, Abileen and Minny. No one would believe they'd be friends;
fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to
cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another.
Each is in search of the truth. And together they have an
extraordinary story to tell...
Is The Help Worth A Read?
The Help is one of the most fantastic, gripping books that I have ever read. I have read it about four times now in a very short space of time, and have seen the film literally about eight times (almost nightly.)
I am completely obsessed with this book, and all the characters within it, and have read The Help to death just to keep re-analysing the characters, and squeeze as much excitement and enjoyment as I possibly can from this story, like one would with Harry Potter.
The Help is so incredibly touching, quirky, heartbreaking and easy to read, that I should expect anyone to just be able to pick this book up, and dive into the action, and find their own character to either love, hate, or even just connect with.
There's Miss Hilly Holbrook, the popular rich white lady who runs the Junior League, and who is a terror to the town and those who work for her. What with the Home Help Sanitation Initiative Hilly has begun, The Help had better watch out. Thank god for Minny's pie and Skeeter's toilets...
There's Miss Leefolt who doesn't know how to stop her own child from crying, and who takes very little interest in her own daughter until she copies her coloured mother figure and uses the coloured toilet.
There's ditzy 'white trash' Miss Celia who is completely colour blind, and is the sanctuary for Minny when her sass-mouthing gets her fired from Miss Hilly's. Celia is helpless, skill-less and 'really needs a maid.' However, she not only married Hilly's ex boyfriend, but also hasn't told her husband she has hired coloured help.
What with Miss Hilly's hatred of Celia Foote, and Minny's horrific 'pie incident' will this spell trouble for them?
There's Aibileen, a motherly coloured maid who lost her own son Treelore, and after him being treated so horrifically, loses hope and faith in the world. Aibileen is a specialist with the children and is a much sought after help, but she is on a mission - to make sure that Mae Mobley Leefolt, her last baby girl, knows that she is kind, smart and important before it is too late and she has to leave.
There's Skeeter Phelan, an ambitious young writer who was raised by coloured help. Skeeter was taught that she had the power to make a difference by her own maid Constantine, and later decides to challenge the rules and write a book from the help's point of view about their employers.
There's also Elaine Steine, senior editor of Harper & Row, and a powerful educated woman during the sixties in ambitious young writer Skeeter Phelan's eyes. Elaine Steine gives Skeeter advice and looks over her controversial work, for no other reason that someone once did for her.
Finally there's Skeeter's mother, Charlotte Phelan... constantly nagging her daughter about her hair and her height, her posture and everything else to make her daughter seem perfect, just to get her married off.
Charlotte Phelan has quite the story of her own regarding Skeeter's beloved childhood maid, and the pressure forced upon her by the other popular rich ladies at the time.
What did happen to Constantine? Why will no one talk about her?
See below the cut for the full review of The Help.