That’s a common question I receive when it comes to EIGHTH WONDER and admittedly it’s an exciting one, as the wildly popular book and equally popular movie are present in everyone’s consciousness.  It’s flattering to even have the comparison made. But the answer is, yes in small ways, but mostly no.

BOTH Katheryn Stockett’s “The Help,” and A.M. Cal’s EIGHTH WONDER are books set in the old south that deal with the complex and volatile subject of black-white relations, but that’s where their similarities end. Here’s a book review by Janet Maslin from the New York Times in regards to “The Help.”:


“In “The Help,” Kathryn Stockett’s button-pushing, soon to be wildly popular novel about black domestic servants working in white Southern households in the early 1960s, one woman works especially tirelessly. She labors long into the night. She is exhausted. Her eyes are stinging, her fingers bloody and sore…”  The Help aims to highlight and exploit the social ills and obstacles the black maids experienced in Mississippi.  On the other hand, “Eighth Wonder,” centers around the remarkable true life of Thomas Bethune, who was blind and left for dead, only to for his master to discover he is an astounding musical genius, capable of rendering the most heavenly melodies on the piano.

Unlike “The Help,” which takes place during one space and time of the 1960s Mississippi, EIGHTH WONDER is an epic tale that spans the globe. A historical novel based on the amazing true story of Thomas Bethune, a slave virtuoso born bline who became an American treasure known throughout the world as “Blind Tom.”  It is told through the eyes of Thomas’s master Colonel James Bethune, a man of privilege, of the planters’ aristocracy, a descendant of French noblemen.