Stockett, K., Lamia, J., Turpin, B., Spencer, O., & Campbell, C. (2009). The help. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Audio. 9780143144182
Reasons for Reading : First, numerous people requested The Help. Second, the several hundred people on the waiting list gave witness to the buzz. Lastly, the movie hit theaters. I definitely wanted to read the book before I saw the film. Per advice, I requested the audiobook version from HCPL.
Summary : It’s 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi and Mrs. Elizabeth Leefolt’s maid, Aibileen readies the house for the white ladies’ bridge club. Aibileen and her best friend Minny are African American maids working for the society ladies. Mrs. Leefolt leacer her chubby toddler daughter, Mae Mobley, for Aibileen to raise while keeping up appearances for her best friend, the villainous Hilly Holbrook. Mrs. Leefolt’s other best friend, writer Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, just graduated from Ole Miss and joins them for bridge.
As Hilly pushes Elizabeth to get her maid her own “bathroom” (more like an outhouse), Skeeter quietly asks where her beloved family maid, Constantine, has gone. Minny, the best cook in Jackson, works for Hilly’s senile mother until Minny’s mouth gets the best of her.
Seeing the injustice around them, Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter conjure up a book – the true telling of what it’s like for an African American maid in The South.
What I Liked : I loved hearing the various voices reading the different parts of the story. Minny’s part was read by Octavia Spencer, who played the maid in movie.
Several of the events in the book amused me greatly but I won’t spoil 🙂 those.
What I Disliked : While I wanted to know what different characters thought, I felt the only authentic voice was that of Skeeter. I think the sections by Aibileen and Minny were well-written but I wondered how much Stockett could know about these women.
Four Out of Five Pearls
Setting : Jackson, Mississippi
You might also like:
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
- My Mother, the Cheerleader by Robert Sharenow
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor