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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
  • J. Adams
  • Fresno, Ca United States
  • 03-19-10


This book was the most fantastic I've read/heard since A thousand splendid suns. So, so good. I recommend it highly!

  • Overall

The more the better

I love this book. The Narrators keep you on their toes with their multiple voices and switching each chapter. You quickly jump into the enriching story of the three woman's lives and never want to put the book down.

  • Overall
  • Gwen
  • Waukesha, WI, USA
  • 03-19-10


I just loved this book. The characters stories intertwined seamlessly. The readers were perfect. It was like eating your favorite dessert, savoring every bite and alittle sad when its gone.

  • Overall
  • Betania
  • Carlsbad, CA, United States
  • 03-19-10

Wonderful book, incredible narration

I loved this book, and it is probably better in audio than in print because the women's voices are so wonderful, so apt, so well done. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I laughed out loud, almost cried and really felt I got to know the main characters and above all that I could identify with them even though their lives are different in a million ways from mine. It almost seems that if a racist read this book and really listened/let the text penetrate, they would be a little less racist afterwards. But it is not a tract or harangue, it is a very, very good novel.

  • Overall
  • Cherri
  • Readyville, TN, USA
  • 03-19-10

Story good...Narration great!!!

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well-developed and the narration was awesome. A good listen.

  • Overall

One of the Best

I loved the story. Never boring. The author developed each character and the narrators were the best I've heard. In fact, next selection will be one narrated by either Jenna Lamia or Bahni Turpin. I only wish Kathryn Stockett had another audio book. I was sad when it ended.

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  • TC53
  • WINDSOR, IL, United States
  • 03-18-10

The Help

A really great book with lots of heart and narrated wonderfully by a cast of women. Best book I've 'heard' so far. It takes you into the deep south during the 60's and into the minds of three very different women. I loved it.

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  • Alisa
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • 03-18-10

One of the best books I have ever read

Wow is all I can say. This book really touched my heart and that of my 11 year old daughter. I have already sent a hard copy to my parents and have convinced my book club to read it!

  • Overall
  • Amber
  • Santa Ana, CA, USA
  • 03-18-10

Even more wonderful to listen to-

Our family book club read this together and old and young, male and female, experienced readers and usually not, all loved this book. Listening to it made it even more wonderful. I will miss these characters.

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  • Cynthia
  • Powder Springs, GA, USA
  • 03-18-10


Kathryn Stockett has such a wonderful way of developing each character on their own, without having each one dominate the story. VERY well read! You can almost picture it happening in your head.