The characters in this book – racist, southern white women in the early sixties and the black maids that work for them – are so believable, I rooted for my favorites, hissed beneath my breath at villains, celebrated triumphs, and felt gloomy for days when things went awry. Stockett captures personalities and gives each person a voice so full of accent and southern charm that the entrapment of race relations in Mississippi at the very dawn of civil rights is played out in the language itself. If you have any chance at all of listening to the Audio book, do so. It won the 2009 award for best audio book and with good reason. The actors will put you in a theater.