Kathryn Stockett, , read by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer and Cassandra Campbell. . Penguin Audio, $39.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-14-314418-2
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, Miss., in the early 1960s, but this reading gives it a deeper and fuller power.
Reviewed on: 03/02/2009