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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


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  • Overall

A Very Moving novel

I can't say enough about this wonderful, thought-provoking story. It is well written, and well narrated. The narration is superb. I loved the different narrators; portray8ing the different women. Bahni, Cassandra, Jenna and Octavia did an excellent job. I think this should be a must read for anyone wanting to understand the atmosphere of ht e 1960's. Well worth the money and then some!!!

  • Overall

Amazing piece of work!

Having come of age in the 60's I was both appalled and familiar with the way this book captures my generation's attitudes about African-Americans during the 50's and 60's. This book lovingly and accurately depicts the kind of relationships and attitudes my parents, friends and I had about African-Americans (both good and bad) as children and young adults at that time. And I grew up in NY! What is also shocking, is how little time has passed since those days. The author clearly has lived through the kind of intense relationship she has written about, and I loved her piece at the end about her actual experience. As corny as it sounds this book was truly uplifting. Couldn't stop thinking about it and telling friends about it. The voices of the actors were wonderful and were fully believable as the characters they were portraying. A must read--listen!

  • Overall
  • Mary
  • Hampton, VA, USA
  • 04-20-10

Great listen!

I'm listening to this for the third time. I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's also very informative for those who weren't exposed to that kind of life in the early 60's.

  • Overall
  • Rose
  • Mora, MN, USA
  • 04-20-10

The Help

Loved it! Wonderful story. The readers made the charactors come to life.

  • Overall

Truth and conscience

I grew up in the northeast and have recently moved to the southeast. This book helped me to understand courage in a very personal way. It also helped me to understand the racism and oppression, which still exists in the deep North as well as the South.
The multiple readers and multiple points of view brought the message straight to my heart and soul.

  • Overall
  • Sheila
  • Lanark, IL, USA
  • 04-15-10


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The different voices of the characters added to experience. It is so interesting to see how strong these women were in very difficult times.

  • Overall
  • Janet
  • savannah, GA, USA
  • 04-15-10

Great audiobook

Spellbinding story telling. Vivid characters. Thoroughly believable reading. Had a hard time putting it down.

  • Overall


This is one of the best books I've ever read and by far the best audio book. I rooted for Skeeter and the maids all the way through. I hated to see it come to an end. This book will make you laugh and cry. So many enotions!

  • Overall
  • Holbrook, NY, United States
  • 04-15-10

Loved it

I have not enjoyed a book so much since the Kite Runner. I just wished it wouldn't end. The characters were truly a part of my life for the week I listened and now that it is over I will remember them like old friends. Mid way I went out and purchased it in hardcover so I could give as a gift. I would totally recommend this book

  • Overall
  • Allison
  • Gresham, OR, USA
  • 04-15-10

Took my breath away

You will NOT be able to put this book down. It had me in stitches, it made me madder than I've been in forever, and it made me cry my eyes out. I wasn't going to get it, originally, because I'm so wary of "popular" books, but the reviews for this one got me interested and I got it. I don't regret it AT ALL!