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{Read Kindle} ô The Help ⚡ Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary stepTwenty two year old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss She may have a degree, but it is , 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 goneAibileen 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 brokenMinny, 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 ownSeemingly 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 crossedIn pitch perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women, mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends, view one another A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don t jacket flap The Help is a tale of lines, color, gender and class, in the Jackson, Mississippi of the early 1960s This is a world in which black women work as domestics in white households and must endure the whims of their employers lest they find themselves jobless, or worse It is the Jackson, Mississippi where Medgar Evers is murdered, and where spirit and hope are crushed daily It is the Jackson, Mississippi where Freedom Riders are taken from a bus, a place where segregation and racism are core belie The Help is a tale of lines, color, gender and class, in the Jackson, Mississippi of the early 1960s This is a world in which black women work as domestics in white households and must endure the whims of their employers lest they find themselves jobless, or worse It is the Jackson, Mississippi where Medgar Evers is murdered, and where spirit and hope are crushed daily It is the Jackson, Mississippi where Freedom Riders are taken from a bus, a place where segregation and racism are core beliefs and where challenge to the status quo is met with resistance, to the point of violence It is a time of political turmoil on the national stage, as the civil rights movement is picking up steam It is also a place where using the wrong bathroom could get a black person beaten to death Kathryn Stockett image from The TelegraphThe Help sees this world through three sets of eyes, Aibeleen, a fifty something black woman who has taken care of many white children and is beginning again with a newborn Minny, in her thirties, has troubles enough at home, with an abusive, drunken husband and several children of her own, but her inability to control her tongue has led to a series of jobs and a series of firings Skeeter is a young white woman, newly graduated from college, and eager to pursue a career in writing Skeeter has grown a conscience and no longer accepts the presumptions of the past She yearns to know what happened to Constantine, the black woman who was so important to her as a child Skeeter sees the unfairness of the social structure She engages Aibeleen, Minny and a host of other black domestic workers to tell their stories for a book, hoping to expose the hypocrisy and cruelty of Jackson s white society The story not only places the events in historical context, but offers a taste of what it must have been like for the Aibeleens, Minnys and Skeeters of the time Stockett has created living, breathing characters, people you can relate to, cheer and cry for If there is softness here, it is that the devils are painted in glaring red, which may be an accurate portrayal of the time, but makes for a melodramatic feel at times The heroines are fully realized We get a sense of how they came to be the way they are While we are offered some background on the baddies, it is not enough to make them as completely human as the three narrators The Help is a powerful, moving read, blessed with a colorful, believable cast of characters, a compelling setting and an eternal message of shared humanity, a knockout of a first novel EXTRA STUFFStockett s Twitter and Goodreads pagesThere is a website with her name, but it has been hijacked by a Japanese entity The last entry on her FB page is from 2010 I have this terrible, dreary feeling in my diaphragm area this morning, and I m not positive what it s about, but I blame some of it on this book, which I am not going to finish I have a friend who is mad at me right now for liking stupid stuff, but the thing is that I do like stupid stuff sometimes, and I think it would be really boring to only like smart things What I don t like is when smart or even middle brained writers take an important topic and make it petty through guessing about wh I have this terrible, dreary feeling in my diaphragm area this morning, and I m not positive what it s about, but I blame some of it on this book, which I am not going to finish I have a friend who is mad at me right now for liking stupid stuff, but the thing is that I do like stupid stuff sometimes, and I think it would be really boring to only like smart things What I don t like is when smart or even middle brained writers take an important topic and make it petty through guessing about what they don t know I can list you any number of these writers who would be fine if they weren t reaching into topics about which they have no personal experience incidentally, all writers I m pretty sure my angry friend loves For example, The Lovely Bones, The Kite Runner, Water for Elephants, Memoirs of a Geisha, etc These are the books for which I have no patience, topics that maybe someone withimagination or self awareness could have written about compassionately, without exploiting the victimization of the characters They re books that hide lazy writing behind a topic you can t criticize The Help is one of these.You ve got this narrative telephone game in this book The telephone game is pretty fun sometimes, and it is really beautiful in monster stories like Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights because what they are telling me is not intended as trustworthy or earnest All of the seriousness in monster stories is an impression or an emotion reflected back through the layers of narrative I don t feel that way about the topic of The Help, though In this book, a white woman writes from the point of view of a black woman during the Civil Rights movement, who overhears the conversations of white women It s an important topic, and I don t want to hear it through untrustworthy narrators.So, I can basically get on board with the dialect of the black maids, but what throws me off as a reader is when the black maid is quoting the white women and they re all speaking perfect English without a trace of an accent It becomes particularly weird when one of the black maids starts to comment on the extreme accent of one of the white women, Celia Foote, whose written dialogue continues to be impeccable Who is this narrator Why does she choose not to speak proper English if she can speak it Why does she choose to give proper English to someone else who she has told me doesn t speak it Also, usually the layers of narration in a telephone game book are only within the book In this case, it s the author s voice stabbing through the story I am convinced it is her whose brain hears the white woman speaking TV English, and the black women speaking in dialect It gives away the game Even the quotes from the movie have an example of this A conversation between her and Minnie goes like this Celia Foote They don t like me because of what they think I did.Minny Jackson They don t like you cause they think you white trash Celia speaks in a proper sentence, but Minny misses the are in the second part of the sentence Celia says because, but Minny says cause If the reader were supposed to understand that Celia does not speak in dialect, that would make sense, but since it specifically states that she does, it doesn t make sense.To attempt to be clear, I didn t have a problem that the book was in dialect I had a problem that the book said, This white woman speaks in an extreme dialect, and then wrote the woman s dialog not in dialect Aerin points out in message 111 that I am talking about eye dialect, which is about spelling, not pronunciation, as in the example above Everyone, in real life, speaks in some form of non standard English Though I have seen some really beautiful uses of eye dialect, as Aerin points out, writers typically use it to show subservience of characters or that they are uneducated, which often has racist overtones If it troubles you that I m saying this, and you would like to comment on this thread, you may want to read other comments because it is likely someone has already said what you are going to say.I m not finishing this one, and it s not because I think people shouldn t like it, but rather because I m almost 100 pages in and I can see the end, and it s failed to engage me When a few IRL friends have asked what I thought of the book and I said I didn t care for it, they have told me that I am taking it too seriously, that it is just a silly, fluff book, not a serious study of Civil Rights Again, I don t have a problem with stupid books, but when it s a stupid book disguised as an Important Work of Cultural History, all I want to do the whole time is tear its mask off And a book about Civil Rights is always important cultural history to me Anyway, the book becomes unpleasant I become unpleasant it s bad news If you loved this book, though, or, really, even if you hated it I would recommend Coming of Age in Mississippi I think that book is one of theimportant records of American history Plus, it s beautifully written, inspirational, and shocking It s been years since I read it, so I might be giving it an undeserved halo, but I can t say enough good things about it.INDEX OF PROBLEMS WITH THIS REVIEW You should finish the book before you talk about it comment 150 second paragraph comments 198 and 199 Stockett did experience the Civil Rights Era comment 154 comment 343 The author of The Lovely Bones was raped comment 190 The author of The Kite Runner is from Afghanistan comment 560 Memoirs of a Geisha is accurate and not comparable to The Help comment 574 Don t be so critical comment 475 Have you written a bestseller comment 515 Fiction doesn t have to be a history lesson comments 157 through 162 Having grown up in the South during this era and having had a maid, I could relate to the emotional nuances of this book comments 222 and 223 Minny and Aibileen are relatable comment 626 You are trying to silence authors comment 317 and comments 306 through 316 Why do you want to read a Civil Rights book about racism and hatred I would prefer one about friendship and working together comment 464 Why are there so many votes for such a half assed review comment 534 Authors can write outside of their personal experiences comments 569 through 587 I was uncomfortable with the tone of the book I felt that the author played to very stereotypical themes, and gave the characters especially the African American ones very inappropriate and obvious voices and structure in terms constructing their mental character I understand that the author wrote much of this as a result of her experiences growing up in the south in the 1960 s, and that it may seem authentic to her, and that she was even trying to be respectful of the people and the time b I was uncomfortable with the tone of the book I felt that the author played to very stereotypical themes, and gave the characters especially the African American ones very inappropriate and obvious voices and structure in terms constructing their mental character I understand that the author wrote much of this as a result of her experiences growing up in the south in the 1960 s, and that it may seem authentic to her, and that she was even trying to be respectful of the people and the time but, ultimately, I thought that it was written from a very narrow, idealized, almost childish perspective of race relations without a true appreciation of the humanity and soul of the characters And the ultimate theme message i.e why, we re all the same there s no difference between us after all only reinforced my feeling that this is written from someone who has a very undeveloped or underdeveloped concept of race and race relations in the United States The author would benefit from exploring authentic African American voices Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou and understanding the scope, range and most important the foundation of the emotions genuine African American characters express as a result of their journey as a people in the US hope, frustration, drive, passion, anger, happiness, sadness, depression, joy This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I read the first paragraph of The Help, absorbing the words, but suddenly being caught off guard by the dialect I stopped reading.I shifted the book in my hands, flipping to the author s biography and photograph on the back of the dust jacket Staring up at me was this image error Oh, sweet Jesus, I thought An affluent, white Manhattanite Great And one who apparently fancies herself a master at Southern Black Vernacular Even better.I rolled my eyes and returned to page one, fully prepared I read the first paragraph of The Help, absorbing the words, but suddenly being caught off guard by the dialect I stopped reading.I shifted the book in my hands, flipping to the author s biography and photograph on the back of the dust jacket Staring up at me was this image error Oh, sweet Jesus, I thought An affluent, white Manhattanite Great And one who apparently fancies herself a master at Southern Black Vernacular Even better.I rolled my eyes and returned to page one, fully prepared to hate every word on every page, beginning with Aibileen s horrifically stereotyped voice written by this smug White Lady Look, I really don t subscribe to the belief that one must be a part of a culture in order to write effectively or even stirringly about or in the voice of that culture Wally Lamb wrote convincingly as a twin in I Know This Much Is True and as an identical twin, I can vouch for its authenticity Nancy Farmer wove African culture beautifully into her science fiction novel The Ear, The Eye, and the Arm Mark Haddon s Christopher Swinton character is a remarkable sketch of a child with autism So clearly it can be done But I was not convinced about Stockett.When Minnie s first chapter hopped along in The Help, I prepared myself for an unconvincing spin on Aibileen s narrative, a pasty twist of the vernacular that had been spewed out in the first paragraph That is not what I got Instead, her character was nothing like the other maid her own voice was rendered in tough, bitter layers, providing a nice foil to Aibileen s complex struggle between resolve and resign NO my brain screamed WHAT ARE YOU DOING DO NOT ENJOY THIS But the pages turned, and when I next looked up at the clock, a few hours had passed and I was well on my way to the halfway point Dammit.And this was the pattern that followed in the 2 1 2 days it took me to read The Help I found myself loving it and hating it simultaneously, but leaningto the Love side of the dilemma There are countless trite episodes in The Help, standard plot fillers that can be found in both heaving Harlequin romances and sucky Oprah Book Club fodder But there aremoments of striking beauty, humanity, and humor, even if the ending is a bit of a cop out No surprise that The Rich White Lady Saves The Day And Gets What She Wants Is The Help Great Literature No Is it a fast and enjoyable read Yes It s also a fairly striking and genuine portrait of what life in the south was like during those tumultuous times And for that well, for that I quite liked it.So congratulations, Whitey McWhiterson, I wound up not hating your book And God knows I tried