This book is historical fiction set in the plantation days of slavery. I actually gave it a 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads. It's a good book, but I think the characters could have been developed a bit better. Totally worth the read though.
Summary from goodreads.com:
Hetty "Handful” Grimke,
an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life
beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke
household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she
is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by
the limits imposed on women.
Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in
motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten
year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid.We follow their remarkable
journeys over the next thirty-five years, as both strive for a life of
their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a
complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the
uneasy ways of love.
As the stories build to a riveting climax,
Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self
in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal,
unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her
place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the
early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.
Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the
record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters,
both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte,
who courts danger in her search for something better.
exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with
unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through
women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will
leave no reader unmoved.