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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    29,584
  • 4 Stars
    4,021
  • 3 Stars
    848
  • 2 Stars
    287
  • 1 Stars
    286

Performance

  • 4.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    18,916
  • 4 Stars
    1,709
  • 3 Stars
    320
  • 2 Stars
    97
  • 1 Stars
    99

Story

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    17,915
  • 4 Stars
    2,484
  • 3 Stars
    489
  • 2 Stars
    149
  • 1 Stars
    125
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  • Overall

Excellent

what a pleasure! witty, heartfelt and moving. The hours I spent listening to this book flew by, i didn't want it to end.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pam
  • Scottsdale, AZ, United States
  • 02-25-09

Great Narration

This is a wonderful book to listen to with such eloquent southern voices telling the story. It is a slice of history from the south that lets us know how far we have come in this country today. Three brave women surrounded by characters that we love and others we hate.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Karla
  • West Bloomfield, MI, USA
  • 10-05-09

wonderful read

Could not put the book down. The narrators made the book come alive. A must read from audible

47 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

You don't need me to tell you...

...how great this performance is, but I'm going to anyway. The Help is an essential listening experience because of Bahni Turpin. And Octavia Spencer. And Jenna Lamia. These three gifted performers elevate the art of narration to a new level with their impeccable Southern drawl and illuminating portrayals of maids and the white families they work for in 1960s Mississippi. It's no surprise that rave reviews from listeners have made The Help our highest-rated audiobook of all time, and propelled Octavia Spencer into an Academy Award winner for her portrayal of Minny.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Stunning!

I purchased this on a whim based on the reviews here and I am not disappointed. What a wonderful story, beautifully told. The narrators added to this book immensely. They were amazing! I searched for excuses to listen to this book and became completely oblivious to the rest of the world while I listened.

A few times I was wondering if the author was going to go completely PC on us with trite solutions and responses, but I was never disappointed in her sensitive and skilled handling of the story line.

This is one of the best (if not THE best) audio books I've ever heard and well worth the spent credit. I rarely go back to books within a few years (so they'll feel fresh again) but I'm ready to listen to this again after a month because I miss spending time with these characters.

I was only a baby during this time period but grew up in the south with "help" and when I shut my eyes I was back at home, seeing the world through a new set of eyes. I cannot recommend this book enough!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kelly
  • Sagamore Hills, OH, USA
  • 02-12-10

A tall glass of sweet tea

I admit I am an audible book junkie; I have been filling my substantial commute time with books for about 10 years. The Help is a standout from both the standpoint of an extremely well-developed story coupled with extraordinary narration. The multiple narrators helped round out the richness and depth of each of the characters. I felt like I was in the room with them throughout the novel.

I enjoyed the portrayal of the start of the civil rights movement from the viewpoint of a black maids in Mississippi and their unlikely white story-teller. I did not want the book to end! I felt I could sit with the characters and listen to them tell their stories for hours. Enjoy!

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A new favorite!!!

Oh my... this is one of the absolute BEST audio books I've ever listened to. This one goes in the stack to listen to again. You see, I am FROM mid-1960's Mississippi and this story is so perfect. The use of multiple readers for the different characters was brilliant and each of them did a spectacular job with their part. It was easy to distinquish the characters and before long, you began to feel as though you were sitting in the kitchen with Minny or Aibileen, or watching the Wednesday bridge game at Elizabeth's house.

The underlying morals and racial truths depicted in this book are spot on. So is the fact that much of white Mississippi didn't understand them at the time. Skeeter's mother was so much like my own, that I often sat up straighter just listening to her.

The best part about this book aside from the story itself and the readers, is the fact that although the "truths" were not pretty, the daily lives are told with a large helping of humor. I often laughed out loud and repeated quips and saying from the book.

Overall, this is an excellent book that is just all the better when listened to. Well worth the credit! I'll be watching for more from Katheryn Stockett.

30 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Danon
  • Forstyh, MO, USA
  • 09-16-09

BRAVO!!

I enjoyed the book tremendously, the narrators were absolutely perfect, and I was miserable when the book ended. I've picked up no less than 6 bestsellers since then and can't get interested in any of them. A few times in my life I have been fortunate enough to read a book that is so special I fall in love with the characters. This is one of those books. I miss them. I want this book to continue. I wish I knew the narrator for Aibileen - I'd buy everything she narrates! And Kathryn Stockett - WOW!

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • D.
  • Dublin, OH, United States
  • 08-06-09

Awesome

This was one of the best books I have listened to this summer. The narrators did a superb with 3 different voices. It made the story real. I will listen to this book again.

25 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Large elements of truth

The only reason I did not give this book a 5 star was because some of the characters could have used more development. A technicality you can dismiss.
My mother was raised in the south on a farm but my grandmother had "help".Her name was Cora. In my mother's family the bond was tight between Cora and her children and my mom and her siblings. My mom moved north to PA to marry and I met Cora on one of our frequent trips south when I was about 5 years old.She introduced herself to me as my "chocolate mammy". Having grown up in a small PA town she was the first black person I ever met.
Although I observed both the harsh racial discrimination in the south and the love and respect of my mothers family(they were never allowed to use the word nigger)to Cora and her family I could never explain with credibility to my northern born and raised friends the unusual love/hate relationships to blacks that existed in the south.
These Yankees all professed a strong belief in racial equality but felt very uncomfortable around blacks and did not include any in their close social circle.
This book says it all and illustrates the situation I have been trying to explain to my friends my whole life.The characters are real and I could put different names to all of them from the roster of my southern family and their friends and acquaintances.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful