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Extended Audio Sample The Help, by Kathryn Stockett Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (736,868 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kathryn Stockett Narrator: Jenna Lamia, Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spence Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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!


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.”


  • “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 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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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