Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Audiobook Review)

Skeeter, a recent graduate of Ole Miss, returns to her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi as a different woman.  She no longer feels like she really fits in as her friends are married and having children while she still remains single (and her mother frequently comments about it) with a focus on achieving her dream of becoming a writer.  When she was younger, she was able to turn to Constantine, the family maid and the one who truly raised Skeeter.  But when she returns home, Constantine is gone and she can get no one to tell her where she has gone.

Abileen is the black maid of one of Skeeter's friends.  She has been in the maid business a long time, cleaning homes and caring for the little ones of the white families she worked for.  She does as she is told by her employers, yet she is the one who is the backbone to this story.

Minny is Abileen's best friend and another maid.  She is younger and much less accepting than Abileen; however, because of her spunky attitude, she has a more difficult time holding down a job.  The white folks she works for do not appreciate or tolerate a sassy black maid, whom they deem to be inferior.

These three women are thrown into a world filled with racial tension and hate, but begin a little project that will rock the world -- telling the story of Jackson, Mississippi from the point of view of the help.  Their own worlds overlap, turmoil is shared, and the end result is tearfully rewarding.

The Help was my re-introduction to audiobooks and it was the perfect book to get me hooked once again.  The story was powerful and unforgettable, a fiction story that I can imagine having more truth than many non-fiction.  The narrators were brilliant.  The voices of Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and Cassandra Campbell still echo in my head, the power they gave to their characters cutting to the core of my heart.  There they will stay with love and as a reminder of what used to be and that should never be again.

If you have yet to read The Help, do it now.  Then, do it again.  This is one that should be revisited again and again.

Have the voices of Skeeter, Abileen, and Minny broken into your heart and soul?  Do they remain with you like they have with me?


  1. I've had this book on my e-reader (unread) for longer than any other. I have some reservations. We'll see if I can try again to get into it. I did enjoy the film.

    1. Andi ... I'm not sure I would have been able to get into it as much if it were for the amazing narrators on the audio version. Maybe you want to switch versions to give it another try?!?

  2. Nice review! I keep hearing that this book is amazing, but have yet to pick it up. Maybe I'll try the audio instead, as I just can't get into the book for some reason. :(

    1. Alexia561 ... Audio for this one worked for me! I adored the narrators and think that played a huge part into my enjoyment of the story.

  3. I read this book back when it first came out. Here's what I said at the time.

    Two black maids and one young white woman in early 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, alternately narrate THE HELP, a fictionalized account of the production of a book of true accounts. The white woman, Skeeter, is writing the book. Various black maids tell her stories of their everyday lives working in white households.

    The civil rights movement is going on; apparently, though, some rich society women are slow to catch on. So the reader can easily forget that these are the 1960s and not the 1860s as black women not only cook and clean six days a week for white families; they even raise the white children.

    I admit this put me off for the first few chapters. I grew up during the 1960s, and I sure never saw evidence that black women knew how to raise children better than white women did.

    But I'm not from Mississippi; and all was not as it seemed to me at first. I now know that Stockett's accounts are fair. At times I even doubted this is fiction.

    More than that--I found, although before I read THE HELP I thought it might bore me, I was, instead, enthralled with it. I hated to see it end. But Stockett does, afterward, explain her truth and motivation for writing this book.

    THE HELP is an exceptionally good book. You don't want to pass on this one.

    1. techeditor ... Awesome! Do you have any links to what you reference to Stockett's words and reasons? I am curious to see what she says!


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