Stockett draws on her own experience growing up in the South to create this story. Three extraordinary characters, a white socialite and two African-American maids, work together and learn lessons about friendship and hope during the Civil Rights movement.
In 1962 Mississippi, Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She has a degree, but her mother is pressuring her to get married. Plus, her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a maid who lost her own son, but is devoted to the little girl in her care. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, has just taken a job with someone new to town who has secrets of her own.
When a maid is accused of a crime she didn't commit, an unlikely alliance grows between the three women as they come together for a secret project that will put them all at risk. (PUTNAM, Feb., 464 pp., $24.95)