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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
  • Kelly
  • Satellite Beach, FL, United States
  • 02-16-10

Wonderful! Unforgetable story!

I loved this story from beginning to end. The storytellers made me laugh and gasp and cry. Very well read by all narrators who made their characters come alive. I will definitely listen to this book again. So far, the best I've "read" yet. Congratulations to a rare work of art!

  • Overall

Great book

Loved the story, characters and the narration. Great book.

  • Overall

Sounds like lady's story, but excelent to man

smart writing, very interesting story.
well built story that does not paint life in pink, but shows you all its aspects.
strongly recomended.

  • Overall

The Help

Wonderful - I listen to audile books often and have never done a review but this audio formt of this novel is (I didn't want the book end t to end); this was the most outstanding audio production I've ever listened to. The voice character were well casted. All too often, is seems as though the reader is picked off the street (men trying to do women's vices, visa versa or one voice trying to do every character - doesn't). I highly recommend this for anyone who as been so disgusted with an audio book because of the narrator - you'er in for a real treat with The Help.

  • Overall

Fantastic voicing, strong story

The narrators bring this story alive, giving an almost physical presence to the characters. The story itself is engaging and helps the reader to feel what Jackson, MS felt like in the early 1960s. We experience the great divide between the middle class white women and the African-American maids who serve them and raise their children, the bonds of friendship and community among the maids, and the few cases where women cross the color lines and form friendships they didn't know were possible. I'm glad I listened to this rather than read it. While I'm sure I would have enjoyed the story, the narration makes it special.

  • Overall


I was interested in every word! I lived through this era but in NJ. I had a nanny (iwas one of 8 children) who was black after my Mom fired the Irish nanny (she wanted to marry an american). Absolutely loved this.... Thank God our world is improving/evolving. We do have alot of work to go still toward equality for all kinds of color etc. Glad to see the references toward the inequality between men and women. Of course there could be another library of books for that topic... Thankyou Ms. Stockett. When is her next book!!!

  • Overall

Amazing story!

This book stands on its own as written by bringing to life the unspoken social beliefs and their consequences in the 1960's deep south. The readers add an element of realism that makes the content even more compelling. Each character both black and white drew me deeper into her goals, challenges and fears. I cheered with them at each victory. This is an absolute MUST READ!

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  • Deb
  • USA
  • 02-12-10

Great perspective . . .

Wonderful narration! My first audible book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved the well-developed believable personalities.

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A truly wonderful story. I couldn't put it down and recommend it to everyone.

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Powerful and compelling.

The narrators brought this amazing story to life. I could see, hear, smell and taste Mississippi in 1963.