Author: Kathryn Stockett
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publication date: Feb. 10 2009
Format/pages: Hardcover 451 pages
Format/Source: Audiobook borrowed from library
Date read: January 17 2011
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
I picked up the audiobook of THE HELP from the library; I have been curious to read it for a while after seeing it on bestseller lists and numerous recommendations. THE HELP is the story of two black maids living in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s and one white woman who wants to publish their stories about their relationships with the families they work for.
The audiobook was one of the best I’ve heard and the voice actresses portraying Aibileen, Skeeter and Minny made the story come alive. I listened to the audiobook as I was doing housework and my house got very clean as I was finding excuses to keep listening to this book.
The characters in the book are richly drawn and all of their unique stories are fascinating. Aibileen, Skeeter and Minny take turns narrating and all have compelling stories to tell of life in the time of the Civil Rights era in the South. There are many stories shared about their lives, and numerous stories of heartbreaking racial inequality. I was drawn to all of the character’s stories, but Aibileen is the heart of the book who I was rooting for. Miss Hilly is the villain of the book and her behavior just got more and more distasteful and reprehensible.
The descriptive stories leap off the page and I found the book hard to put down. The book has some mysteries that are revealed slowly while the tension builds. The visual descriptions made it easy to picture the setting and I can imagine this book will translate successfully as a movie.
I enjoyed THE HELP for the wonderful writing and storytelling, the characters and the pacing. The book is charmingly told with a nice balance of drama, light humor, heartbreak, and heartwarming stories. I found the book to be an enthralling and thought-provoking read. I especially recommend the audiobook version of this book.
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