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Mae Mobley was born on a early Sunday morning in August,
1960. A church baby we like to call it. Taking care a white
babies, that’s what I do, along with all the cooking and the
cleaning. I done raised seventeen kids in my lifetime. I know
how to get them babies to sleep, stop crying, and go in the
toilet bowl before they Mamas even get out a bed in the morning.
But I ain’t never seen a baby yell like Mae Mobley Leefolt.
First day I walk in the door, there she be, red-hot and hollering
with the colic, fighting that bottle like it’s a rotten turnip.
Miss Leefolt, she look terrified a her own child. “What am I
doing wrong? Why can’t I stop it?”
It? That was my first hint: something is wrong with this
So I took that pink, screaming baby in my arms. Bounced
her on my hip to get the gas moving and it didn’t take two
minutes fore Baby Girl stopped her crying, got to smiling up at
me like she do. But Miss Leefolt, she don’t pick up her own baby
for the rest a the day. I seen plenty a womens get the baby
blues after they done birthing. I reckon I thought that’s what
Here’s something about Miss Leefolt: she not just frowning
all the time, she skinny. Her legs is so spindly, she look like
she done growed em last week. Twenty-three-years-old and she
lanky as a fourteen-year-old boy. Even her hair is thin, brown,
see-through. She try to tease it up, but it only make it look
thinner. Her face be the same shape as that red devil on the
redhot candy box, pointy chin and all. Fact, her whole body be
so full a sharp knobs and corners, it’s no wonder she can’t
soothe that baby. Babies like fat. Like to bury they face up in
you armpit and go to sleep. They like big fat legs too. That I
By the time she a year old, Mae Mobley following me around ever where I go. Five o’clock would come round and she’d be hanging on my Doctor Scholl shoe, dragging over the floor, crying like I weren’t never coming back. Miss Leefolt, she’d narrow up her eyes at me like I done something wrong, unhitch that crying baby off my foot. I reckon that’s the risk you run, letting somebody else raise you chilluns.
Mae Mobley two years old now. She got big brown eyes and
honey color curls. But the bald spot in the back of her hair
kind a throw things off. She get the same wrinkle between her
eyebrows when she worried, like her Mama. They kind a favor
except Mae Mobley so fat. She ain’t gone be no beauty queen. I
think it bother Miss Leefolt, but Mae Mobley my special baby.
I lost my own boy, Treelore, right before I started waiting
on Miss Leefolt. He was twenty-four years old. The best part of
a person’s life. It just wasn’t enough time living in this
Reprinted from THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett by arrangement with
Amy Einhorn Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.,
Copyright 2009 by Kathryn Stockett.
Once in a blue moon, a book comes along from out of nowhere and takes the book-loving community by storm. The Help is such a book. Written by first-time novelist Kathryn Stockett, it takes us to 1962 Jackson, Mississippi—at the height of the civil rights movement—and into the lives of three women unwilling to be trapped by their race or gender.
Aibileen is a black maid—a wise, regal woman working as a nanny to her 17th white child while still bereft by her son’s death. Her best friend Minny is the sassiest woman in town—she can cook like nobody’s business, but she has a mouth on her that keeps getting her fired. And then there’s Skeeter, a white woman who comes back from college with a degree…but, to her mother’s chagrin, no ring. Seemingly as different as can be, these three women forge a unique bond, joining forces in a clandestine project that puts 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 crossed.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women who would change their town forever. Heartfelt, poignant and wise, this is a masterful debut.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE HELP:
"I know a novel is a winner when I just can’t bring myself to put the book down. I fell in love with Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter, and quickly became completely engrossed by the lives so beautifully and heartbreakingly described within these pages. This is a magical read."—Deborah Sinclaire, Editor-in-Chief, Book-of-the-Month Club
"This incredible rendering of a period rich with tragedy and promise personalizes the South in the 1960s like no novel before it. A watershed debut."Jennifer Hufford-Varrone, Senior Editor, Doubleday Large Print Book Club
"The Help illuminates how far we’ve come as a nation. The author skillfully depicts how even against a backdrop of ugly social history, women of all classes and races find a way to bond and prevail. You will be completely captivated by this novel."—Christine Zika, Editor-in-Chief, Literary Guild
WHAT CRITICS ARE SAYING:
"The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a story that made me weep as I rejoiced for each of humanity’s small but steady triumphs over hate and fear. I will never forget this wonderful book.”—Dorothea Benton Frank
“I love The Help. Kathryn Stockett has given us glorious characters and a powerful, truth-filled story. Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter show that people from this troubled time came together despite their differences and that ordinary women can be heroic.”—Jill Conner Browne, author of The Sweet Potato Queens series
"Lush, original and poignant, Kathryn Stockett has written a wondrous novel set in the deep south told through the authentic voices of Aibileen, Minnie and Skeeter.... You will be swept away as they work, play and love during a time when possibilities for women were few but their dreams of the future were limitless. A glorious read.”—Adriana Trigiani, author of The Big Stone Gap series
“A magical novel. Heartbreaking and oh so true, the voices of these characters, their lives and struggles will stay with you long after you reluctantly come to the end.”—Robert Hicks, author The Widow of the South
Hardcover Book : 464 pages
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group ( February 10, 2009 )
Item #: 12-647139
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 1.1inches
Product Weight: 18.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
This book captivates you from start to finish! I started reading and I just couldn't put the book down. I loved it so much I had to share it with my mother and she was just as excited as I was. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone!
Reviewer: Sasha P
I really enjoyed this book. The characters are great. The plot the kind you can't put down. Especially for a first book, an insightful accomplishment. I'll look forward to seeing more of her work.
I live in Mississippi and it was a real eye opener to me. I'm 52 so I lived through the end of segregation but I wasn't aware how terrible it was. The story is both a joy and a sorrow to read. I adored it. A must read.
Reviewer: Debbie R
Being from the south - I found this book to be enlightening, heartwarming at times and unfortunately accurate. This was one of the best books I had the good fortune to read during 2011... I will read it again!
I found it very intersting, although a little wordy. Some things could have been revealed with less words. But, I still got a lesson from it, I knwe the South was like that, but not as Bad. I finished the Book in a day and passed it on to my daughter to read.
Reviewer: Lottye B