Release Date: 10th February 2009
Genre: Historical Fiction
Read: September 2018 (Reread)
Goodreads Page – LINK
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
This is my second time reading this book and I think I love it even more than the first time I read it back in 2014. I believe that is the year that the book came out in Poland as I remember my mum being super excited to be going to Poland for the summer holidays so she could finally pick up the book after we had seen the movie so many times, we both love the movie too but the book is definitely better in this instance. I was 15 the first time I read it and I am actually super proud of myself for picking up the book in Polish as it was just as enjoyable as reading it in English (the language it was written in).
Rereading it this time around I decided to pick it up as an audiobook so I could listen to it as I am doing other things and I definitely recommend the audiobook as we get to listen to three different narratives with three different voices so that makes it even easier to distinguish whose story we follow. This story follows two black maids, Minnie and Aibileen, and a white woman Skeeter, whilst they share what their life is like in Jackson, Mississippi. I have seen some controversy following the story as it does follow the plot of the white person helping black people in voicing their opinion and bringing to the light what it is like working as a maid for a white family. I do see how this would anger or decrease the pleasure of reading this story to some, however to me I love seeing in stories people of different ethnicities working together to bring about change. Of course, there are black people who brought about a massive change to the laws this book mentions and the inequality black people experience like Martin Luther King Junior, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and many more. There definitely need to be more books about how black people brought about change, yet I still love The Help and how much emotions it makes me feel whenever I even think about this book, the story and how much it has impacted my life.
I loved following the three perspectives, but I think my favourite is Minny as she is just amazing and she deserves all the happiness in the world. Aibileen’s chapters were definitely the most emotional, especially the last one and the ones where she talked about her son. Skeeter’s chapters where the least interesting for me as even though I loved her relationship with Stuart a lot more than in the movies, I still can’t get over the fact that he broke up with her, though again I liked the reason a little bit more of why he did even though I don’t agree with it.
Overall, this book is an important read I think everyone should read as it’s just amazingly told and it has an amazing set of characters that are definitely very well fleshed out and you just cannot not love or hate, in Hilly’s instance.
Hope you enjoyed my review and tell me if you have read this or plan to!
See you in my next post 🙂