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)
For example, no one would be able to have a drink in public (or legally, in private) in Mississippi in the early 60s. It was a "dry" state.
The narrators for this audiobook are really fantastic, especially the ladies who did Minny and Aibileen. They made the characters come alive, and those two characters themselves are three dimensional and rich in the book. However, all of the white characters were flat, stupid/naive, or evil caricatures; not realistic at all. The rest of the book was unoriginal, two-dimensional, shallow, and trite. This book rehashed the same tired themes that appear in most crappy American beach reading:
1. Women are mean. All strong women are victims of society and each other.
2. White people are evil and should feel ashamed of themselves.
Books that bring the themes in this book to life and explore the many facets of an ugly part of our history need to be written. Everyone should examine their own hidden racism. However, this particular story is a thinly-veiled autobiography of the author's own white guilt. Even if you've never read "The Help," you've read this book before.
How could you grow up in the south in the late 50's and early 60's and be so oblivious to national news and national movements? I just don't really appreciate Skeeter, I suppose. I can't forgive her naivete. But maybe that's the point. Maybe there are things I'm not seeing now that are right under my nose, like Gitmo and the supposed terrorists being held there. Maybe this story is a mirror being held up to ourselves so that we may know not to be too smug in our self-assurance that we would never be prejudice. Why in my own college years, I had a black friend, didn't everybody?
The Help is a fascinating story. I would recommend it to anyone. Audible is not so fascinating. I am trying to load this onto a DVD; Itunes would only let me load it only 15-16 CD's. I may be able to use Nero to load the *.aa files onto a DVD, but once I burned the *.aa files once, Audible would not let them be burned again. The only alternative I see is to rip all of the CD's back onto my computer in *.wav format and then create some audible DVD's.
I will not purchase another audio book until itunes will burn to a DVD instead of a CD. Cracker Barrel has a program where you can pick up an audio book and rent it for $3.49 a week. Audible was not helpful to me when I callled them, they will not be getting any more of my business. They should have known that Nero create audiobook DVD's in Nero Express. They should have also offered to let me download another copy so I could burn it to DVD without their rigid restrictions. I'm surprise they as associated with Amazon. Amazon has good customer service.
In audio books narration is everything. Didn't the narrator for the first black maid READ THE BOOK???
Her timber was way off. What a waste. A's voice is described as low. Here, she sounds young (she is not). It is hard for me to differentiate her voice from the others done by the narrator. Badly done and not worth the listen. Read the book.
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