The Help Deluxe Edition

The Help Deluxe Edition

4.9 12
by Kathryn Stockett

With more than 3 million copies sold, the #1 New York Times bestseller is now available in a special gift edition.

A modern classic, The Help has been a cultural touchstone for the millions of readers who have cheered on Skeeter, laughed with Minny, and hissed at Hilly. The noble and strong Aibileen has become a heroine for countless fans


With more than 3 million copies sold, the #1 New York Times bestseller is now available in a special gift edition.

A modern classic, The Help has been a cultural touchstone for the millions of readers who have cheered on Skeeter, laughed with Minny, and hissed at Hilly. The noble and strong Aibileen has become a heroine for countless fans whose letters have poured in from all over the world. Now the bestselling and beloved book is available in a deluxe gift edition.

The Help has been on bestseller lists for longer than any other hardcover fiction title since The Da Vinci Code. It was USA Today's 2009 Book of the Year and has been published in thirty-seven countries around the world.

The movie The Help, produced by DreamWorks and 1492 Pictures, is scheduled for a major motion-picture release in August 2011.

This beautiful edition, destined to be passed down from generation to generation, is filled with special features, including:
-satin ribbon marker
-printed endpapers
-two-color interior printing

This deluxe gift edition is the perfect gift for someone you love-or as a special treat for yourself.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
If you've enjoyed the southern charm of Fannie Flagg or The Secret Life of Bees, you'll find The Help a delight. Miss Eugenia Phelan ("Skeeter" to her friends) is a young woman of privilege who enjoys her fellow Junior Leaguers but sometimes finds their ways at odds with her own principles. She plays the part of her station in 1960s Mississippi but can't help feeling dissatisfied with keeping house and acting as recording secretary at league meetings, and yearns for something more.

Minny, Miss Celia, Aibileen, and Yule May are maids employed by Skeeter's friends. Each woman cooks, cleans, and cares for her boss's children, suffering slights and insults silently and sharing household secrets only among themselves. In the wake of the Junior League push to create separate bathrooms for the domestic help within private homes, Skeeter contacts a New York book editor with an idea. Soon she's conducting clandestine meetings with "the help" to capture their stories for publication. It is a daring and foolhardy plan, one certain to endanger not only the positions but the lives of the very women whose stories she transcribes -- as well as her own.

Stockett is a wonderful novelist, and The Help is a charming, thoughtful novel about women finding their voices, and the truths we see when we have the courage to look unflinchingly into the mirror. (Spring 2009 Selection)

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Edition description:
Deluxe Edition
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.18(h) x 1.22(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Two days later, I sit in my parent's kitchen, waiting for dusk to fall. Igive in and light another cigarette even though last night the surgeongeneral came on the television set and shook his finger at everybody,trying to convince us that smoking will kill us. But Mother once toldme tongue kissing would turn me blind and I'm starting to think it'sall just a big plot between the surgeon general and Mother to make sureno one ever has any fun.

At eight o'clock that same night, I'mstumbling down Aibileen's street as discreetly as one can carrying afifty-pound Corona typewriter. I knock softly, already dying foranother cigarette to calm my nerves. Aibileen answers and I slipinside. She's wearing the same green dress and stiff black shoes aslast time.

I try to smile, like I'm confident it will workthis time, despite the idea she explained over the phone. "Could we…;sit in the kitchen this time?" I ask. "Would you mind?"

"Alright. Ain't nothing to look at, but come on back."

The kitchen is about half the size of the living room and warmer. It smellslike tea and lemons. The black-and-white linoleum floor has beenscrubbed thin. There's just enough counter for the china tea set. I setthe typewriter on a scratched red table under the window. Aibileenstarts to pour the hot water into the teapot.

"Oh, nonefor me, thanks," I say and reach in my bag. "I brought us some Co-Colasif you want one." I've tried to come up with ways to make Aibileen morecomfortable. Number One: Don't make Aibileen feel like she has to serveme.

"Well, ain't that nice. I usually don't take my tea tilllater anyway." She brings over an opener and two glasses. I drink minestraight from the bottle and seeing this, she pushes the glasses aside,does the same.

I called Aibileen after Elizabeth gave me thenote, and listened hopefully as Aibileen told me her idea—for her towrite her own words down and then show me what she's written. I triedto act excited. But I know I'll have to rewrite everything she'swritten, wasting even more time. I thought it might make it easier ifshe could see it in type-face instead of me reading it and telling herit can't work this way.

We smile at each other. I take a sip of my Coke, smooth my blouse. "So…;" I say.

Aibileen has a wire-ringed notebook in front of her. "Want me to…;just go head and read?"

"Sure," I say.

We both take deep breaths and she begins reading in a slow, steady voice.

"Myfirst white baby to ever look after was named Alton Carrington Speers.It was 1924 and I'd just turned fifteen years old. Alton was a long,skinny baby with hair fine as silk on a corn…;"

I begin typing as she reads, her words rhythmic, pronounced more clearly thanher usual talk. "Every window in that filthy house was painted shut onthe inside, even though the house was big with a wide green lawn. Iknew the air was bad, felt sick myself…;"

"Hang on," I say. I've typed wide greem. I blow on the typing fluid, retype it. "Okay, go ahead."

"When the mama died, six months later," she reads, "of the lung disease, theykept me on to raise Alton until they moved away to Memphis. I lovedthat baby and he loved me and that's when I knew I was good at makingchildren feel proud of themselves…;"

I hadn't wanted toinsult Aibileen when she told me her idea. I tried to urge her out ofit, over the phone. "Writing isn't that easy. And you wouldn't havetime for this anyway, Aibileen, not with a full-time job."

"Can't be much different than writing my prayers every night."

It was the first interesting thing she'd told me about herself since we'dstarted the project, so I'd grabbed the shopping pad in the pantry."You don't say your prayers, then?"

"I never told nobody that before. Not even Minny. Find I can get my point across a lot better writing em down."

"Sothis is what you do on the weekends?" I asked. "In your spare time?" Iliked the idea of capturing her life outside of work, when she wasn'tunder the eye of Elizabeth Leefolt.

"Oh no, I write a hour, sometimes two ever day. Lot a ailing, sick peoples in this town."

I was impressed. That was more than I wrote on some days. I told her we'd try it just to get the project going again.

Aibileen takes a breath, a swallow of Coke, and reads on.

Shebacktracks to her first job at thirteen, cleaning the Francis the Firstsilver service at the governor's mansion. She reads how on her firstmorning, she made a mistake on the chart where you filled in the numberof pieces so they'd know you hadn't stolen anything.

"I comehome that morning, after I been fired, and stood outside my house withmy new work shoes on. The shoes my mama paid a month's worth a lightbill for. I guess that's when I understood what shame was and the colorof it too. Shame ain't black, like dirt, like I always thought it was.Shame be the color of a new white uniform your mother ironed all nightto pay for, white without a smudge or a speck a work-dirt on it."

Aibileenlooks up to see what I think. I stop typing. I'd expected the storiesto be sweet, glossy. I realize I might be getting more than I'dbargained for. She reads on.

"…;so I go on and get thechiffarobe straightened out and before I know it, that little white boydone cut his fingers clean off in that window fan I asked her to takeout ten times. I never seen that much red come out a person and I grabthe boy, I grab them four fingers. Tote him to the colored hospitalcause I didn't know where the white one was. But when I got there, acolored man stop me and say, Is this boy white?" The typewriterkeys are clacking like hail on a roof. Aibileen is reading faster and Iam ignoring my mistakes, stopping her only to put in another page.Every eight seconds, I fling the carriage aside.

"And I says Yessuh, and he say, Is them his white fingers? And I say, Yessuh, and he say, Well you better tell them he your high yellow cause that colored doctor won't operate on a white boy in a Negro hospital. And then a white policeman grab me and he say, Now you look a here—"

She stops. Looks up. The clacking ceases.

"What? The policeman said look a here what?"

"Well, that's all I put down. Had to catch the bus for work this morning."

I hit the return and the typewriter dings. Aibileen and I look each other straight in the eye. I think this might actually work.

Chapter 12

Everyother night for the next two weeks, I tell Mother I'm off to feed thehungry at the Canton Presbyterian Church, where we, fortunately, knownot a soul. Of course she'd rather I go down to the First Presbyterian,but Mother's not one to argue with Christian works and she nodsapprovingly, tells me on the side to make sure I wash my handsthoroughly with soap afterward.

Hour after hour, inAibileen's kitchen, she reads her writing and I type, the detailsthickening, the babies' faces sliding into focus. At first, I'mdisappointed that Aibileen is doing most of the writing, with me justediting. But if Missus Stein likes it, I'll be writing the other maids'stories and that will be more than enough work. If she likes it…; I find myself saying this over and over in my head, hoping it might make it so.

Aibileen's writing is clear, honest. I tell her so.

"Well, look who I been writing to." She chuckles. "Can't lie to God."

BeforeI was born, she actually picked cotton for a week at Longleaf, my ownfamily's farm. Once she lapses into talking about Constantine withoutmy even asking.

"Law, that Constantine could sing. Like apurebred angel standing in the front a the church. Give everbodychills, listening to that silky voice a hers and when she wouldn't singno more after she had to give her baby to—" She stops. Looks at me.

She says, "Anyway."

Itell myself not to press her. I wish I could hear everything she knowsabout Constantine, but I'll wait until we've finished her interviews. Idon't want to put anything between us now.

"Any word fromMinny yet?" I ask. "If Missus Stein likes it," I say, practicallychanting the familiar words, "I just want to have the next interviewset up and ready."

Aibileen shakes her head. "I asked Minny three times and she still say she ain't gone do it. I spec it's time I believed her."

Itry not to show my worry. "Maybe you could ask some others? See ifthey're interested?" I am positive that Aibileen would have better luckconvincing someone than I would.

Aibileen nods. "I got some more I can ask. But how long you think it's gone take for this lady to tell you if she like it?"

I shrug. "I don't know. If we mail it next week, maybe we'll hear fromher by mid-February. But I can't say for sure." Aibileen presses herlips together, looks down at her pages. I see something that I haven'tnoticed before. Anticipation, a glint of excitement. I've been sowrapped up in my own self, it hasn't occurred to me that Aibileen mightbe as thrilled as I am that an editor in New York is going to read herstory. I smile and take a deep breath, my hope growing stronger.

On our fifth session, Aibileen reads to me about the day Treelore died.She reads about how his broken body was thrown on the back of a pickupby the white foreman. "And then they dropped him off at the coloredhospital. That's what the nurse told me, who was standing outside. Theyrolled him off the truck bed and the white men drove away." Aibileendoesn't cry, just lets a parcel of time pass while I stare at thetypewriter, she at the worn black tiles.

On the sixth session,Aibileen says, "I went to work for Miss Leefolt in 1960. When MaeMobley two weeks old," and I feel I've passed through a leaden gate ofconfidence. She describes the building of the garage bathroom, admitsshe is glad it is there now. It's easier than listening to Hillycomplain about sharing a toilet with the maid. She tells me that I oncecommented that colored people attend too much church. That stuck withher. I cringe, wondering what else I've said, never suspecting the helpwas listening or cared.

One night she says, "I was thinking…;" But then she stops.

I look up from the typewriter, wait. It took Aibileen vomiting on herself for me to learn to let her take her time.

"I's thinking I ought to do some reading. Might help me with my own writing."

"Go down to the State Street Library. They have a whole room full of Southern writers. Faulkner, Eudora Welty—"

Aibileen gives me a dry cough. "You know colored folks ain't allowed in that library."

Isit there a second, feeling stupid. "I can't believe I forgot that."The colored library must be pretty bad. There was a sit-in at thewhite library a few years ago and it made the papers. When the coloredcrowd showed up for the sit-in trial, the police department simplystepped back and turned the German shepherds loose. I look at Aibileenand am reminded, once again, the risk she's taking talking to me. "I'llbe glad to pick the books up for you," I say.

Aibileen hurries to the bedroom and comes back with a list. "I better mark theones I want first. I been on the waiting list for To Kill a Mockingbird at the Carver Library near bout three months now. Less see…;"

I watch as she puts checkmarks next to the books: The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois, poems by Emily Dickinson (any), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

"I read some a that back in school, but I didn't get to finish." She keeps marking, stopping to think which one she wants next.

"You want a book by…;Sigmund Freud?"

"Oh,people crazy." She nods. "I love reading about how the head work. Youever dream you fall in a lake? He say you dreaming about your own selfbeing born. Miss Frances, who I work for in 1957, she had all thembooks."

On her twelfth title, I have to know. "Aibileen, howlong have you been wanting to ask me this? If I'd check these books outfor you?"

"A while." She shrugs. "I guess I's afraid to mention it."

"Did you…;think I'd say no?"

"These is white rules. I don't know which ones you following and which ones you ain't."

We look at each other a second. "I'm tired of the rules," I say.

Aibileen chuckles and looks out the window. I realize how thin this revelation must sound to her.


Meet the Author

Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and Creative Writing, she moved to New York City where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter. This is her first novel.

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Help Deluxe Edition 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I actually don't like reading that much, but I loved this book. Its a great book and an amazing story. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book I bought just a month ago and I finished it yesterday!! It was the best $20 I spent!! You read this book!!
CAClark0910 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book after I saw the movie previews and i must say it has become my FAVORITE book that I have ever read!
maria-valentina More than 1 year ago
What a great story! I have never felt such a range of emotions while reading a book. I was angry, sad, happy, hopeful, excited and nervous all throughout the book. After reading this story, it still sort of haunts me as to the realities of racism in the past and the present. A must read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't read very much of this book - "The Help". But the few pages I have read are amazing. I wanted to read the book before going to see the movie.
BookLover17LH More than 1 year ago
I have to admit I did not go out and buy this book right away. I honestly thought I wouldn't like it. Eventualy I got tired of hearing about how much people liked it and about how good the movie was that I finally broke down and bought it so that I would know what people were talking about. I took about a chapter or two before I really got into the story. The charaters are extremly funny and brave and Kathryn did a great job of writing from the point of view of an African American women. I especially loved when she wrote about her childhood with her own maid. It really completed the story by showing you that she acctually experienced parts of the story herself. I can honestly say that this book will not leave readers minds easily.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I downloaded this book in audio format to listen on my long commutes to and from work. This made my drive so enjoyable I looked forwared to going home even more so I could get back to listening to it. Excellent story and really made you love (or hate) the characters. Highly recommended! I hope she writes another one soon!
MarionMarchetto_author More than 1 year ago
Every forty or fifty years a book comes along that not only makes readers sit up and take notice while at the same time shaking beliefs we've grown up with. That, to me, makes for a book destined to become an American classic. For a country that prides itself on human equality, and for this reviewer who was brought up in the idealistic North, this book was a revelation that human inequality was alive and well in the 1960s. Although this story is set in the town of Jackson, Mississippi it could very well have been almost any city or town in the South. Bent on a career as a writer, Skeeter Phelan (white college graduate)applies for an editor's position with a New York firm. Her ambitions and ideals are high. While she awaits a response she goes about her normal routine: bridge club on Wednesdays, Junior League on Thursdays (she's the newsletter editor), church, and the rounds of events at the country club. Like her peers she has little interaction with the help (black maids) of her friends, although she dearly misses the black maid who reared her while her own mother was similarly occupied with social events. In an effort to win her coveted job, Skeeter is advised to submit something she wrote - something of substance about an idea or philosophy that means something to her. The first thing that comes to Skeeter's educated mind is the inequity of the way in which the black maids are treated. Set against the background of the racial crises of the 1960s and the very real threat of danger to not only Skeeter's life but that of the black maids and their families, Skeeter convinces Aibilene (the maid of one of her friends) to tell her story. When Skeeter's New York connection reads what she has submitted, Skeeter is asked to submit the remainder (Skeeter lies about having a dozen or so more maids to interview). If the New York publisher likes what she reads, she will publish the book. Over the course of a year, Skeeter eventually gets her story. Along the way we are introduced to two very strong characters in the guise of black maids - Aibilene (cautious and quiet)and her friend Minny (impetuous and mouthy). On the other side of the racial line are Hilly (white, president of the Junior League, and master manipulator) who is married to a political hopeful and Cecilia (white, low-class, born on the wrong side of the tracks) who is married to Hilly's former beau. In a seamless blending of viewpoints, Ms. Stockett gives us a rounded approach to everyday life in the South during the 1960s: from the blind acceptance of the white women expecting their black maid to do everything from housework to child rearing to the quiet understanding of the black maids that they are not worthy to share even the same bathroom as their employers. Ms. Stockett's characters are well-rounded and complex. We learn to love (or hate) each of them and sometimes want to reach out and shake one or two. A thoroughly enjoyable book that is destined to become an American classic. It should be on the reading list of every book club in America. I wish I could give it more than five stars.
Uwouldofthought More than 1 year ago
The help is a very interesting novel on three young women trying to make a change. Trying to show people that everyone is not who they say they are but you still find a little light in a person. When i read the help i simply fell in love with it because it shows that when someone cares for you and wants to show people the best in you. Thats why the help is the number one book that could change your point of view for any other book cause it speaks to you. Im only 13 years old and reading the help made me realized that sometime everyone is who they say they are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Help is a riveting page turner that is perfect for people of any age. Kathryn Stockett takes true events and puts them all together to create a truly phenomenal and inspiring novel. I was sucked into the book from beginning to the end! This book is set during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, a very trying time for many African Americans. A young woman, Miss Skeeter as many call her, has become fed up with the way the white people of Jackson, Mississippi have treated their help. She believes that she can launch her journalism career and open up the eyes of white people across America by writing an extremely controversial novel that is written from the help's perspective. Aibileen and Minny are the first two maids who get the ball rolling on the book when they decide to be interviewed and share their good, bad, funny, and sad stories with Skeeter. However, this task is easier said than done. Skeeter must find a way to publish this book without endangering the maids of Jackson. In a time when black and white people weren't even allowed to go into the same bathroom, this controversial book becomes harder and harder to write. Kathryn Stockett creates the good, the bad, and the ugly throughout this book. Some of the maids' stories are laugh out loud funny while others are absolutely heart breaking to hear. This novel portrays a universal theme that anyone can appreciate. It doesn't matter if you're black, white, blue, or green; we are all Americans and deserve the same rights and freedoms as the person standing next to us. I loved almost every aspect of this book because it is inspirational and it opened up my eyes to what the maids went through during this time in America. This novel also includes some stories that were absolutely hilarious that broke some of the tension that was created in the book. The author also decided to write the book so that the diction was different depending on which character was speaking. Kathryn Stockett did a very nice job on that part of the book, but there was one thing that she could've improved. Some of the stories seemed to go on and on which made me disconnect from the book at times because they seemed like they would never end. But, that is one minor quirk among the indefinite amount of fantastic qualities of this novel. It is definitely one that you will never be able to put down. If you are looking for a heartfelt, enjoyable page turner, then The Help is the perfect book to read. This is a novel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Help, written by Kathryn Stockett is a wonderful book which captures the readers in learning and reading about what life was like for an African American maid living during the 1960's in Jackson Mississippi. The book is about a woman named Skeeter who comes back to her home town of Jackson Mississippi. Skeeter's desire is to be a writer while her mom wants her to be married with children like all the women in Jackson. While she was home, she hung around her friends who all were married and had a maid. She is tired of listening to her friends talking about their maids (the help) unkindly and decides to write about something that no one had ever written about. Her friends all have maids and do not treat them very well. Skeeter decides to write about what life is like for "the help" and get their perspective on their lives and how they are treated by the white people. Skeeter first starts to talk to Aibileen Clark who is the black maid who works for Miss Leefolt. She is timid about sharing her story at first because of the worry of being caught and put in jail from talking to a white woman. She eventually tells her story to Skeeter and also gets Minny, her best friend involved who is also a black maid working for Miss. Hilly. They both tell their stories and also get the other black maids involved who tell their stories as well. Many of the stories shared were about things that the white women might do or say to them. Skeeter publishes the book anonymously. The people in Jackson Mississippi read the book and find it humorous at first but come to find out that many of the stories in the book are exactly what they did to an African American maid. Women in Jackson like Miss Hilly are very displeased when they find out the stories are what they did or said to the black maids. Some of the major messages and themes in the book are not judging people for the color of their skin and standing up for what you believe in. The things that I liked about this book are learning about what life was like for those African American women in the 1960's and how badly they were treated. It was fascinating to me to hear stories and events that really would happen during that time. One thing that I disliked about this book was how rude the white women were to the black maids. It was sad for me to read about that. You should read this book because it is a book that captures your emotions learning about the lives of these black women in the 1960's. I would overall rate this book 9 out of 10 because of how Stockett really captured my attention and emotions. Read The Help and be captured into the world the African American maids of the 1960's in Jackson Mississippi.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Introduction In 1962, in Mississippi, Minny, Miss Celia, Abilieen, and Yule May are all African American maids who are employed by their boss' daughter's, Skeeter, friends. Each woman cooks, cleans, and cares for her boss's children, and suffer from very rude insults from their boss's and their boss' children. Despite all these problems they face they always stay positive. Description and summary of main points The Junior League that Skeeter works for is trying to create new bathrooms for the domestic help in private homes, Skeeter contacts a New York with an idea. Therefore, she has a secret meeting with all the maids, or the help, of her community and they tell their stories to capture them for publication for a book that is quite scandalous. Evaluation I think that it is horrible how the maid's of Mississippi where treated like that just because of their skin color. I also think that it was also unfair to the white children of the bosses because the probably did not get very much attention at all because down in the south adults would have many kids because they did not have to take care of them. Conclusion The help, or maids, of Mississippi created a book about their boss' secrets to make money but, their boss' daughter and friends take the money and create new bath rooms for the domestic help in private homes and the maids get mad. Your final review This is by far the best book I have ever read. I would recommend this book to everyone in the world; it is such a great book.