‘The Help': Everything You Need To Know About Kathryn Stockett’s Novel

by Christina Garibaldi

Hollywood Crush loves a good book—and so do moviemakers, seeing as more than a few of our favorite reads are headed for the silver screen. With so many adaptations in the works, keeping the ol’ reading list current is harder than ever, which is where CrushNotes comes in! We give you the low-down on books before they hit the big screen.

This week, Emma Stone graces the big screen for her third (!!) movie of the summer, with a starring turn in “The Help,” a film adaptation of the best selling 2009 novel by Kathryn Stockett. The book follows a 22-year-old writer who puts her friendships and career on the line to tell the true story of what it’s like to be a black maid in 1960s Mississippi. Now, you may think this book is nothing but serious, but we’ve got news for you: It’s actually pretty funny! Here’s everything you need to know about “The Help” before it hits theaters on Wednesday.

Characters you need to know: Skeeter, a young ambitious woman who desperately wants to become a writer. In order to do so, she enlists the help of Aibileen, a kind-hearted, loving maid who is employed by Skeeter’s BFF, Hilly. Hilly is the social butterfly of the town and the woman that everyone wants to be, but as a reader of the book, you instantly hate Hilly, especially because of what she does to her former maid, Minny, who generates much of the drama and comedy in the book.

Plot Synopsis: Skeeter returns to Mississippi an-out-of-work recent college grad in search of a writing career, rather than a husband (much to her mother and friends’ chagrin). After learning that her friend Hilly wants to build a segregated bathroom for her maid, Skeeter comes up with the idea to have all the help in town share their stories. Skeeter teams up with Aibileen (Hilly’s maid) and the reluctant Milly (Hilly’s former maid) and puts their livelihood at risk to chronicle the stories, both good and bad, of black women who cook, clean and raise the children of white families.

Stars: Emma Stone—who made all the girls jealous starring alongside Ryan Gosling in “Crazy, Stupid, Love”—takes on the role of Skeeter. Oscar nominee Viola Davis plays Aibileen, the lovable maid to the evil Queen Bee in town, Hilly, played by “Eclipse” star Bryce Dallas Howard. Octavia Spencer provides much of the comedy in this film playing maid Minny Jackson.

A scene from the book that must be in the film: Even though this book revolves around a serious subject, there is a lot to laugh at, especially when we finally see Minny get revenge on the hard-not-to-hate Hilly. At a town event, Hilly wins a pie baked by Minny, but little does Hilly know that this pie was baked with something very inedible (it’s too gross to write!), and she becomes known as “Two Slice Hilly.” We will let you use your imagination on this one! This scene will leave you not only gagging, but also cheering for Minny for finally getting her revenge.

What the film’s got over the book: Emma Stone! This new A-list actress can do no wrong in our book. She is the girl next door who you just can’t help but like. Emma takes on a more dramatic role this time around, and it’s refreshing to see her show her range.

Have you read Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help”? Are you as excited for the film adaptation as we are? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!