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Kathryn Stockett Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Help (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kathryn Stockett
Kathryn Stockett is a historical fiction author best known for her debut novel, The Help. This story takes us back to a time when racial segregation was the norm in Mississippi and other parts of the country. Born in Jackson, Mississippi, the author writes from her own experiences growing up. Stockett is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in English and Creative writing. After school, the author moved to New York for her magazine publishing job and stayed there for nine years. Currently, Stockett lives in Atlanta with her daughter and husband.

The Help
The Help tells the story of color, lines, class, and gender in Mississippi in the 1960s. During this era, black women mostly worked for their white counterparts as domestic maids. In these white households, these women were expected to endure their employers’ whims; otherwise, they would remain jobless. It is in the 1960s that hope for a better future is crushed every day. Segregation and racism are the norms, and anyone who challenges the status quo is met with a lot of resistance that at times escalate to violence. At the national level, the political turmoil is hard to miss, and the civil rights movement is just gaining momentum. In the help, you get to see the happenings in Jackson, Mississippi, through the eyes of three women.

Aibeleen is in her fifties and has been working as a housemaid for many white families. She has raised many children and is now starting all over again with a newborn. This regal woman knows a lot about raising children and life in general, and she is often going to be the voice of reason in this story. While Aibeleen is helping raise a white child for the seventeenth time in her life, something in her has changed. She recently lost her son while her bosses looked the other way. Her heart is terribly broken, and while she is devoted to the young girl in her care, she knows deep down that nothing is as it was before her son’s passing.

Minny is yet another black woman also working as a maid. She is a great cook and one sassy woman. Now in her thirties, Minny is married and has several kids of her own to take care of. Her husband is a drunkard who abuses his wife and leaves her to take care of most of their household expenses. Because Minny is a hard worker, she often doesn’t go without a job. However, her tongue had led to series of firings, and she is fortunate to land a job with a woman who needs a friend and a confidant. Minny’s current boss is new in town and comes with enough secrets of her own.

Skeeter is a white woman, a fresh graduate, and an aspiring writer. This twenty-two-year-old lady has also evolved and doesn’t subscribe to the presumptions she considers outdated. Skeeter is curious to find out what happened to Constantine, the black woman who practically raised her. As an adult, Skeeter can see society’s social structure and its associated effects. She decides to engage Aibeleen, Minny, and other domestic workers to tell their stories. Her goal is to expose the cruelty and hypocrisy of Jackson’s white society. However, Skeeter’s mother has different plans for her daughter. She wants to see a ring on her daughter’s finger and doesn’t understand why this is taking her too long.

The author has done a good job of placing the happenings in this book in a historical context. She has also painted a true picture of how life must have been for the Aibeleens, Skeeters, and Minnys of this world in the 60s and early 70s. While the three main characters in this story are seemingly different, they are all suffocating within limits set in these times and their town. They come together and start a clandestine project that is going to put all their lives in danger. It is easy to see the heroines from their stories and experience the joys and heartaches in these women’s lives.

This story is characterized by believable characters, an eternal message, and a compelling setting. In perfect voices, the author fleshes out three extraordinary women determined to bring some much-needed change. This story is deeply moving and filled with humor, hope, and poignancy. The story jumps from one character to the other, with each woman providing their experiences living in the south. Everything from the dinner parties to the racial boundaries is highlighted here, and we also get to see what the main characters are doing to save the world. Other themes in the story include relationships at the family and work level, hardship, poverty, fear, and violence.

There is a lot to love in this story. First, the characters are well developed, and you will feel like you already know them in real life by the time you get to the middle of the story. The author has also included actual historical events, which adds to the story’s authenticity and richness. From these events, it is easy to see how far we have progressed as a society. This story also serves as a reminder of the injustice and cruelty the blacks had to live through in the 70s. You will laugh with the characters as they celebrate their highs and feel their despair when nothing is going as planned.

The Help is a captivating story of three women and their experiences living through the racial tensions in Mississippi in the 1960s and early 1970s. Told in the first person from the perspectives of three women, this story takes you back to a time when black women mostly worked as domestic managers in a society that viewed them as lesser beings. However, the wind of change is blowing throughout the country, and Mississippi is not left behind. We get to see how these three women are working to change their lives and the world. You will fall in love with Aibileen and sympathize with her over the loss of her son and wish there were more Minnys in this world. It is also admirable that Skeeter is determined to change the narrative even though this puts her in conflict with her loved ones.

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