The Bottom Line
- 'The Help' avoids cliche with genuine emotion and nuanced characterizations.
- There are elements of the story that seem forced, including some period-specific details.
- 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett was published in February 2009.
- Publisher: Penguin
- 464 Pages
Guide Review - 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett - Book Review
One story is particularly moving; a woman whose own son was tragically killed in an accident lovingly dedicates herself to raising the children of the white families she works for. The close relationships formed between "the help" and these families is constantly contradicted by the enforced segregation and blatant racism on a society-wide and an individual level. The absurdity of the situation becomes clear to one young white woman who is used to defying society's expectations for her own role by yearning for a job in New York City rather than a husband.
The Help is told in the alternating narratives of the various women. The story is powerful because it doesn't get lost in big, sweeping points about the era but rather focuses on a nuanced portrait of individual characters, and of the horrors and blessings that come from these complicated racial relationships.