The Help

  • by Kathryn Stockett
  • Narrated by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, Cassandra Campbell
  • 18 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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What the Critics Say

"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

What a great surprise!

I am a 40 year old male that usually listens to colonial history, suspense and adventure novels. I bought this book based solely on the ratings and rave reviews.....I was not disappointed. First of all, this is how an audio book should be produced. The characters were not just read to you by someone behind a microphone, honestly it felt very early in the book as if I were sitting at a kitchen table in Jackson, Mississippi listening to these three women take turns telling me their story. These were not simply narrators reading to me, they became the characters fully fleshed out and filled with emotion. Secondly, I am astonished that this is the first novel written by Kathryn Stockett. I was not expecting to get so wrapped up in the lives of these women but it was so well written....so damn interesting....soooo funny and at times tense. So far I have downloaded about 30 books and this is my favorite by far. I did not want it to end. What a find.
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- Jan

Okay, I GET it!!!

For the longest time I resisted listening to this book, and kept wondering "why does everyone love this?" While it seemed as though a giddy throng was raving about it, I quietly said "no thanks" and "not for me". After all, it violated all my "rules" about what fiction I would read and what book I would decline. It had too many characters, too many southern accents, too much conversation. It was about a place and time I had little interest in - even though I was the same age, at the time, as the main character, and had lived through many of the events mentioned in the book. And, I was not interested in the sociology of "white ladies" and their "black maids" in what I considered to be a then culturally unenlightened area.

Well, I was wrong. One day, for lack of anything else to read, I downloaded "The Help" and I was addicted from the first word. While I am not usually a fan of dramatizations, I think that is what sealed the deal on this book for me. The voices of the characters as read by different narrators were Goldilocks perfect - right on the money, and brought to life the world of privileged southern women and their black help, with all its humor, sadness, love and pain.

I can't really add to what any of the other reviewers have said. I ended my reading of this book in tears, as it brought up so many feelings of loss in my own childhood. But this book is not about its ending, even though the story concluded with a painful scene. It's more about living, about the positive, get-it-done energy we all spend in making it through each and every day, through whatever to us means "good" and "bad", and through connections made and connections broken.

I can't wait until this book is a movie. While reading I spent half the time casting all the characters, and will not miss the opening of this book on film.
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- Pamela Harvey

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-28-2009
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio