Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.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 17th 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.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.
This edition now includes the afterword "Too Little, Too Late - Kathryn Stockett in Her Own Words", as read by the author.
Bonus Audio: Hear an exclusive interview with Kathryn Stockett.
©2009 Kathryn Stockett, Cover Art: (c) 2011 DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC (P)2009 Penguin
"This heartbreaking story is a stunning debut from a gifted talent." (Atlanta Journal)
“It's graceful and real, a compulsively readable story of three women who watch the Mississippi ground shifting beneath their feet as the words of men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Bob Dylan pervade their genteel town. When folks at your book club wonder what to read next month, go on and pitch this wholly satisfying novel with confidence.” (Entertainment Weekly)
"[A] wise, poignant novel...You'll catch yourself cheering out loud." (People Magazine)
After reading the reviews, I used one of my credits on this book, experiencing immediate buyer's remorse. "Why was I taken in by the hype. I don't want to listen to a book about Black maids in the South."
Boy, was I wrong. This is a great listen, and I empathize 'listen.' It's a fantastic audible production. I have a hard time putting it down, and this is from a guy that enjoys Jack Reacher and other similar stories (action, blood, and gore).
I am White and was raised in the South (Texas). I would have been about the same age as the White women in this book in 1962. Every time one of them speaks, I think I'm listening to one cousin in particular. The author has her down pat.
Excellent book. I'd give it 5 stars any day.
This book was very well written with facinating characters. The narrativion was beautiful. It provided a glimpse into the not so distant past that was illuminating without being too heavy. I laughed aloud as well as shed some tears. I did not want this book to end.
The quality of writing and narration along with the historical story line make this book worth every second it takes to listen. You will laugh, cry, probably will yell out in anger and certainly will shake your head from time to time. You know some of these people in your own life. This is history in the deep south but not told in a preachy, hypocritical way. The Help is entertaining, funny and irreverent of those who blindly follow tradition.
I am a child of the 50's, love kids, animals, plants. I adopted a Sulphur mustang mare (desendant of the warhorses of the Conquistadors).
The Help is set in the American South, during the time of the Civil Rights Movement. The author's crafting of the characters, Skeeter, Aibileen and Minnie and how they change the smothering circumstances of a woman's place in society is brilliant.
The narration by Cassandra Campbell, Jenna Lamia, Octavia Spencer, Bahni Turpin was so excellent that I was totally immersed in the story - I could see Minnie rolling her eyes with her hands on her hips, Skeeter looking at her hair in the mirror, and hear Aibileen saying, "You a smart girl, a kind girl." to Mo Mably. I look forward to more books by Kathryn Stockett, and narrations by Cassandra Campbell, Jenna Lamia, Octavia Spencer, Bahni Turpin.
While the story is exceptional, the narration pushed it into the realm of such superiority that The Help is already a classic.
I looked forward to listening to this book. I would have given it 4.5 but couldn't on the site. The narration and subject matter was different and refreshing. Would highly recommend it.
Overt American racism in the guise of Jim Crow laws existed in my lifetime (I'm old, but not that old). It still blows my mind! This book gives us a window on that relatively recent time and place. Well written. Excellent narration. I felt like I was there.
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