Search
×

Sign up

Use your Facebook account for quick registration

OR

Create a Shvoong account from scratch

Already a Member? Sign In!
×

Sign In

Sign in using your Facebook account

OR

Not a Member? Sign up!
×

Sign up

Use your Facebook account for quick registration

OR

Sign In

Sign in using your Facebook account

The Help

Book Review   by:patricianovak     Original Author: Kathryn Stockett
ª
 
The Help is a book written by Kathryn Stockett who was born in Jackson Mississippi. Kathryn graduated from the University of Alabama, lived and worked in New York and currently resides in Atlanta. The Help is her first novel which to her credit has been made into a film.

The Plot

The story is set in the 1960’s and revolves around Caucasian American, Eugenia Phelan, commonly known by her nickname Skeeter who, after finishing college, returns to live with her parents in her childhood home in Jackson, Mississippi. On returning to the community Skeeter reunites with her former school friends, many of whom are married and striving to have an influential role in the small community. In particular the character known as Hilly is full of self importance and has developed a powerful role within the community.

In common with the majority of families in Jackson, Hilly employs a black maid to care for her child and undertake house work. Hilly has strong views about black people and maintains that they are diseased and without morals. As a consequence of her negative views Hilly starts a campaign promoting the idea that white families employing black maids should have separate bathroom facilities. Skeeter is opposed to this idea and at this stage she begins a journey of rejection by her friends and community, self examination and development.

As the book developed Skeeter begins to question her own, her families and her friends prejudices and she decides to write a book about black women’s experiences as maids. Skeeter struggles to find maids who will contribute to her book as many are in fear of retribution if they tell the truth about their white employers. plus they do not trust Skeeter because she is white. The maids feeling are further reinforced by the trouble that is taking place in the community and the country at large where reports of black people being beaten, killed and imprisoned are not unusual. However Skeeter manages to enlist the help of Hilly’s maid, Aibileen who is a strong woman who has cared for many white children throughout her working life. Aibileen is willing to take the risk and as the two women meet in secret a special relationship builds between them.

Despite resistance from many of the maids Aibileen manages to recruit several who are willing to talk to Skeeter and despite their concerns of violence and imprisonment the book is completed and published. Although names are changed and the writer is anonymous the community soon discover that it is about their town and as a result there are various consequences both positive and negative for all involved.

The Help is an interesting, thought provoking and at times humouress book which is about relationships, differences, fear, prejudice and change. The story has many strong characters and whilst the main theme is about the writing of the book there are interesting sub plots which provide insight into the various characters personal circumstances and struggles.

Through her book the writer has enabled insight into a community and the lives of the black and white characters and although the first chapters are a little hard to get into, mainly as a result of the writing technique she uses, it is an educational and interesting read.

Published: April 08, 2012   
Please Rate this Review : 1 2 3 4 5
Translate Send Link Print
X

.