Before becoming known worldwide through the popular movie released last year, the Help originated as a novel by Kathryn Stockett. Published in 2009, the book chronicles the journey of young journalist Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan and her relationship between two black maids in the South. After making a risky decision to write a book exposing the racist treatment by white of black maids, she must deal with the consequences.

The story is told from three different perspectives. Skeeter, Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson. Skeeter, the 23-year-old college graduate and protagonist, offers a common outlook on ambitions. Aibileen and Minny, two black maids of Skeeter’s friends, serve as her main sources for Skeeter’s book.


Stockett made a wise decision to use multiple points of view to tell the story. Although first person narratives are more common, they only offer a limited amount of knowledge. Multiple narratives create more layers in the plot and offer more background on each character. In this particular book, it’s displayed through the different language each character uses. Aibileen’s parts are especially a little harder to understand due to her short, clipped sentences and scattered grammar. However, it displays Stockett’s effective writing skills. Her choice to employ different  writing styles makes the story more interesting and illustrates the great effort that went into writing it.

This book not only is inspiring, it teaches readers an important decade in history without sounding too much like a textbook.

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