This Friday and every Friday for the next couple of months, I will be featuring a book that was published under the Amy Einhorn Books imprint. I am starting with the 2009 books and will spotlight them in alphabetical order.
Who hasn't heard of The Help by Kathryn Stockett? It appeared on almost every top-ten list for 2009: bloggers, popular media, and print review sources, everyone loved the The Help.
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.If you are an audiobook fan (like I am), take note that the unabridged audio edition of The Help--read by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and Cassandra Campbell--has gotten rave reviews. And I just discovered that Audible.com has a fifteen-minute interview with Stockett, free for members.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put 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.
Here are some snippets from book blogger reviews (for more, see the link page for Amy Einhorn Books Perpetual Challenge reviews).
- Rebecca at the Book Lady's Blog: "The Help is addictively, compulsively readable. I couldn’t put it down. Stockett’s debut is well-written, and it is clear that she really understands Southern life and has made great efforts to understand what life was like for black women who served white families."
- Meghan at Medieval Bookworm: "This read comes highly recommended from me. The Help is a wonderful, well-paced, stunning novel from a new writer that I suspect will go far, and a brilliant beginning for a new literary imprint."
- Sandy at You've GOTTA Read This!: "Stockett brings the characters to life, particularly Aibileen and Minny, with voices so real I can hear them in my head. I fell in love with these two ladies. They are warm, spiritual, flawed, courageous, and full of life."
This book was featured as part of the Amy Einhorn Books Reading Challenge (click to join the fun). For information about the imprint, please read Amy Einhorn's open letter posted here on January 25, 2010.
Published by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 2009