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Extended Audio Sample The Help Audiobook, by Kathryn Stockett Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.5909375 out of 54.5909375 out of 54.5909375 out of 54.5909375 out of 54.5909375 out of 5 4.59 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kathryn Stockett Narrator: Jenna Lamia, Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2009 ISBN: 9781101022498
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The Help is an amazing story which gives a voice to black women working as hired help in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960's. Although it is a work of fiction, it resonates with the reader, making us believe that this could very well be a true story. The cast of characters is extremely well drawn and believable and the fact that the author introduces so many different types of characters makes her novel come across as true to life.

There is the character of Aibileen, a woman of integrity whose actions live up to her values. Then there's Minny who is extremely outspoken and, in many ways, the opposite of Aibileen. Minny gets fired from one job after another because she is such a loudmouth but, like Aibileen, she is a good person at heart. And then, of course, there's Eugenia Phelan or "Skeeter", the ingénue who has just graduated from college and who tends to view the world through rose-tinted glasses. Despite her naïveté, Skeeter isn't afraid to speak the truth and this is exactly what she does when she returns home to find rampant racism in the way in which white people treat their black domestic help.

The villain of the story is Hilly, a blatantly racist, white woman who is very prominent in Jackson society. Hilly is trying to legally mandate separate bathrooms for black help because she believes that black and white people have different diseases. Skeeter gets Minny, Hilly's maid to tell her story and Aibileen also pitches in. We learn that Minny has been fired for using an indoor bathroom during a thunderstorm. Starting with these two maids, Skeeter's book grows to include the voices of many black maids in Jackson, Mississippi. The climax of the book is a startlingly funny moment that must be read to be appreciated. Eventually, Skeeter's book is published and she shares the royalties with the maids.

Kathryn Stockett is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. She studied English and Creative Writing and worked in magazine publishing for several years. She says that a black maid she was close to in childhood formed the inspiration for The Help which has sold over 10 million copies and was on the NYT bestseller list for 100 weeks. It has also been made into a movie by the same name with an all star cast, including Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Sissy Spacek, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard and Emma Stone.

Download The Help audiobook now from The Audio Bookstore for a beautiful story about black and white women coming together to fight racism.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it’s 1962 in Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy until 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 seventeenth 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, but 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.

As different from one another as can be, these women will come together for a project that will put them all at risk. 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 view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by … and the ones we don’t.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I love The Help. Kathryn Stockett has given us glorious characters and a powerful, truth-filled story. Abilene, Minny, and Skeeter, show that people from this troubled time came together despite their differences and that ordinary women can be heroic.”

    Jill Conner Browne, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a story that made me weep as I rejoiced for each of humanity’s small but steady triumphs over hate and fear. I will never forget this wonderful book.”

    Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Daring, vitally important, and deftly handled. I loved and admired The Help. It’s very courageous. VERY courageous. Fantastic.”

    Marian Keyes, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A wonderful book. A compelling and comically poignant tale about three women, and a time and a place that is in many ways very much still with us.”

    Beth Henley, Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright

  • “A magical novel. Heartbreaking and oh so true, the voices of these characters, their lives and struggles, will stay with you long after you reluctantly come to the end.”

    Robert Hicks, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A startling, resonant portrait of the intertwined lives of women on opposite sides of the racial divide. Stockett’s many gifts—a keen eye for character, a wicked sense of humor, the perfect timing of a natural born storyteller—shine as she evokes a time and place when black women were expected to help raise white babies and yet could not use the same bathroom as their employers. Her characters, both white and black, are so fully fleshed they practically breathe—no stock villains or pious heroines here. I’m becoming an evangelist for The Help. Don’t miss this wise and astonishing debut.”

    Joshilyn Jackson, bestselling author of Gods in Alabama

  • “Lush, original, and poignant, Kathryn Stockett has written a wondrous novel. You will be swept away as they work, play, and love during a time when possibilities for women were few but their dreams of the future were limitless. A glorious read.”

    Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of the Big Stone Gap series and Lucia, Lucia

  • “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 (3.5 out of 4 stars)

  • “Southern whites’ guilt for not expressing gratitude to the black maids who raised them threatens to become a familiar refrain. But don’t tell Kathryn Stockett because her first novel is a nuanced variation on the theme that strikes every note with authenticity. In a page-turner that brings new resonance to the moral issues involved, she spins a story of social awakening as seen from both sides of the American racial divide.”

    Washington Post

  • “Didn’t disappoint…Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.”

    The Today Show

  • “[A] story with heart and hope…A good old fashioned novel.”

    New York Daily News

  • “This heartbreaking story is a stunning debut from a gifted talent.”

    Atlanta Journal

  • “Four peerless actors render an array of sharply defined black and white characters in the nascent years of the civil rights movement. They each handle a variety of Southern accents with aplomb and draw out the daily humiliation and pain the maids are subject to, as well as their abiding affection for their white charges. The actors handle the narration and dialogue so well that no character is ever stereotyped, the humor is always delightful, and the listener is led through the multilayered stories of maids and mistresses. The novel is a superb intertwining of personal and political history in Jackson, Mississippi, in the early 1960s, but this reading gives it a deeper and fuller power.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred audio review)

  • “Full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “With pitch-perfect tone and an unerring facility for character and setting, Stockett’s richly accomplished debut novel inventively explores the unspoken ways in which the nascent civil rights and feminist movements threatened the southern status quo…[A] luminous portrait of friendship, loyalty, courage, and redemption.”

    Booklist

  • “Surely worth reading.”

    Library Journal

  • “If you’ve enjoyed the southern charm of Fannie Flagg or The Secret Life of Bees, you’ll find The Help a delight.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2010 Indies Choice Book Award for Best Debut
  • A #1 USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2010 Audie Award Finalist
  • Selected for the February 2009 Indie Next List
  • Nominated for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • Nominated for the 2013 Abraham Lincoln Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction
  • Winner of Audie Awards

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ria | 6/16/2016

    " Cute. Entertaining. Funny. Would recommend. Xoxoxox "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cat Mckenzie | 2/10/2014

    " I read this book about six months after watching the movie.It was great to rediscover the story. I think the book tells the story in a very realistic, intense way. I like the change between Abileen, Minny and Skeeter so we can have three very different opinions. A very interesting, funny and sad book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Jacobson | 2/8/2014

    " I'm probably one of the last people to read this book, but am glad that I finally got around to it. I was surprised at how effective the author was in speaking in each of the three "voices" that she writes through. The story is well-told and the author seems rather even-handed in the telling. A very interesting, thought-provking book, to be sure. I can see now why it was so successful and talked-about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pegi Hover | 2/7/2014

    " I laughed and cried. Got frustrated and angry. I was in a completely entertained through the entirety of this story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danielle Simmons | 2/4/2014

    " This is a great book. A great read for all ages and a true insporation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bianca | 1/30/2014

    " This has now become one of my favorite books. It so well written, an so funny yet still so moving ( maybe I cried, maybe I didn't). The movie is the most horrible interpretation of the novel ever, I left the movie theater crushed at what they did to my beloved book ( so if you liked the movie you will LOVE./just die over this book). It is a page turner and I just could not put it down. I do, however, want to address some criticism I have read about this book- some people find it offensive and argue that it doesn't accurately depict the gross racism of the time and it "sugar coats' civil rights I strongly disagree with these sentiments BECAUSE the novel is through the eyes of a young white girl and it's about her struggles, her changes, and her coming of age story it is NOT a story about civil rights. Once people all agree that is a coming of age novel rather than a historical novel about civil rights then we can then all agree on how amazing this book is. It's a must read ! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Ritchie | 1/23/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mannon | 1/19/2014

    " Such an inspiring story with great messages & humor! So well written! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela | 1/11/2014

    " Highly recommended..insight into how life was for the Black maids in 1962 and how they survived by forming their own community. Set in Mississippi USA. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kari | 12/26/2013

    " I just couldn't follow this book! I had to constantly read everything over and over, so I just stopped reading it! The old southern slang threw me off. I might try to read it again, but I'll just go see the movie for now. Ha. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patti | 12/25/2013

    " A great read. Funny, heart wrenchingly sad, angry and unfortunately true; this book recounts a period in the 1960's segregated South and the symbiotic and often parasitic relationship between the genteel members of the Junior League and their domestic help. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 12/22/2013

    " The best book I've read in ten years! I would give it extra stars if I could! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine | 12/1/2013

    " Cried and laughed so much througout this book!! The characters are so real!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy Warner | 9/24/2013

    " It was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. The characters were well developed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherry Council | 8/21/2013

    " This is an exceptional book! The movie is good too! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Rendo | 6/22/2013

    " This book had me laughing until I cried it also made me cry. It was beautifully written and one of my favorite books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sophia Mahmoud | 6/11/2013

    " I loved every minute of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anudeepa | 6/10/2013

    " A trip down to Jackson,Mississipi of the 1960's. Heart touching and a fun book to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracey | 2/13/2013

    " I was a little disappointed with this book, because I had heard so often that it was a "must read". I enjoyed it, but it was just a nice beach read - nothing earth-shattering or life-changing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridget | 11/17/2012

    " I was surprised, but it lived up to the hype. The characters spoke with their own voices, and it showed a slice of life that I didn't have much experience with. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley | 10/21/2012

    " I absolutely LOVED this book. I enjoyed it the whole way through. I actually "read" the book through Audible and if you have the opportunity, I'd recommend it as an audio book. It was beautifully narrated. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz Jeffrey | 8/9/2011

    " Excellent read. Would highly recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Corey Ciaverelli | 6/19/2011

    " One of my all time favorite books. Great characters and an amazing story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 5/24/2011

    " I could not put this book down. I wanted to finished it as quickly as possible but also didn't want it to end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amie | 5/24/2011

    " Amazing book! Excellent character development, and use of history for the timeline. I did not want this to end, and I hope that the upcoming movie will do it justice! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 5/24/2011

    " Really enjoyed this even though it's been on my bookshelf for months. I didn't think I'd enjoy it when I read the description but once I got started I just couldn't put it down! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 5/24/2011

    " Very well written. Loved the topic of hired African American help in the 1960's- in the south. Can hardly wait for this movie to come out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Connie | 5/24/2011

    " I loved this book. I know that one day I will read it again. I became so attached to the characters. I hated for the book to end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 5/24/2011

    " I laughed. I cried. I wondered what would happen. I couldn't put this down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meeta | 5/24/2011

    " A bit on the schlocky side, and there isn't anything one hasn't thought of on their own -- and the characters are a bit too far on the caricature side -- but well worth reading! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sofia | 5/24/2011

    " Loved it! One of the best books I have read in a very long time.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 5/24/2011

    " A very heartfelt book that I didn't want to end...I loved the book. "

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About the Author
Author Kathryn StockettKathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and Creative Writing, she moved to New York City where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter. This is her first novel.
About the Narrators

Jenna Lamia is an actress and award-winning audiobook narrator. She has won the prestigious Audie Award, as well as more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her acting credits include appearances on Oz, Law & Order: SVU, and NYPD Blue. She has attended Amherst College, New York University, and the Sorbonne in Paris.

Cassandra Campbell, Audie Award–nominated narrator and winner of several Earphones Awards, has performed in regional theaters across the country and in several off-Broadway shows at the Public Theater and the Mint Theater. In addition to narrating audiobooks, acting, and directing, she is a commercial and documentary voice-over artist.

Bahni Turpin has won seventeen AudioFile Earphones Awards and three prestigious Audie Awards for her audiobook narrations, and Publishers Weekly magazine named her Narrator of the Year for 2016. She is an ensemble member of the Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles. She has guest starred in many television series, including NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, Cold Case, What about Brian, and The Comeback. Film credits include Brokedown Palace, Crossroads, and Daughters of the Dust. She is also a member of the recording cast of The Help, which won numerous awards.

A veteran character actress and one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents, Octavia Spencer has become a familiar fixture on both television and silver screen. Her critically acclaimed performance as Minny in the DreamWorks feature film The Help won her a 2012 Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, a SAG Award, and a Broadcast Film Critics’ Choice Award, among countless other honors. Octavia is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, and holds a BS in Liberal Arts from Auburn University. She lives in Los Angeles. Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit was her first novel.