“Write about what disturbs you, particularly if it bothers no one else.”
Originally published in 2009, The Help by Kathryn Stockett follows three ordinary women in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, who are about to take one extraordinary step. There’s Aibileen, raising her 17th white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son’s tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue and white Miss Skeeter, home from college, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared.
No one would believe these three would become friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in a search of a truth, and together they have an extraordinary story to tell…
The Help is a story that feels like a classic. It’s powerfully moving, deeply compelling, and its timeless story is an important one in our history.
A fascinating exploration of colour, gender and class in the 1960s, The Help is a fully immersive story with unforgettable characters that is equally heartfelt, hilarious and heartbreaking.
I have watched the film a few times before reading the book so I had a good idea of what to expect. But what I didn’t expect was to love the book even more. Although the story is fictional, every character felt so genuine, making it incredibly easy to be taken in by their tale.
And although I had watched the film already, my re-watch after reading the book (having gotten to know the characters more in-depth) reduced me to tears numerous times. It’s such a powerful story and one that I encourage all to read and watch.
The audiobook is narrated by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and Cassandra Campbell, and each woman performs exceptionally. It was so easy to engage with each voice, and they all brought so much emotion to their roles. With Octavia Spencer starring in the film, as well, this really helped me to familiarise myself with the characters much more easily.
This is one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to, so it’s definitely one that I would recommend.