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The help [sound recording] : a novel
Kathryn Stockett
Adult Fiction STOCKET

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From Publishers' Weekly:

What perfect timing for this optimistic, uplifting debut novel (and maiden publication of Amy Einhorn's new imprint) set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing "about what disturbs you." The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies--and mistrusts--enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Set in Stockett's native Jackson, MS, in the early 1960s, this first novel adopts the complicated theme of blacks and whites living in a segregated South. A century after the Emancipation Proclamation, black maids raised white children and ran households but were paid poorly, often had to use separate toilets from the family, and watched the children they cared for commit bigotry. In Stockett's narrative, Miss Skeeter, a young white woman, is a naive, aspiring writer who wants to create a series of interviews with local black maids. Even if they're published anonymously, the risk is great; still, Aibileen and Minny agree to participate. Tension pervades the novel as its events are told by these three memorable women. Is this an easy book to read? No, but it is surely worth reading. It may even stir things up as readers in Jackson and beyond question their own discrimination and intolerance in the past and present. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/08.]-Rebecca Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan
Female
Single
Newly graduated from college with an English degree; returned to her parents' cotton farm; writing a book from the black servants' points of views; searching for the truth behind her maid's disappearance.
Writer

Aibileen
Female
African American
Raised seventeen white children; grieving the loss of her son; devoted to the little girl she is raising.
Maid

Minny
Female
African American
Spreads rumors and gossip; seeks revenge after getting fired.
Maid



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