This is a well-written and compelling novel. There is some very good use of metaphor, especially in the chapters narrated by the maids Aibileen and Minny. And the narrative is gripping. Stockett creates a situation of anticipation that carries the reader through almost the entire novel, which is great.
This book isn't exactly eye-opening though and there is one thing that really bothers me. Why are the maids' sections narrated in dialect and the white character's sections narrated in grammatically standard English?
When Skeeter speaks, she uses colloquial language and contractions (like the maids), but in her narrated sections these habits are nowhere to be seen. But when Aibileen narrates, she is represented in dialect, using "gone" instead of "going to", despite the fact that she is a reader and a writer. When she directly tells Skeeter the first part of her story for use in the book, the prose she recites is marked only slightly by colloquial usages.
If Aibileen writes with some small colloquial usages, why is she presented in dialect? Really though it's not the fact that the maids are presented in dialect that is bothersome. The bothersome fact is that the white Miss Skeeter is presented in "proper language".
This, to me, seems to undermine the point of the novel. This, to me, seems rather, well, racist.