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
I have never been one to clamor for an “Oprah Book Club” read, they are usually just to dull for me (ya, I just said that)……until now. I just finished this book and I loved it, if I was sitting with my book club girls in Oklahoma I would insist they read it. Like I always say I love a novel that is set in History, I love that I can immerse myself into something new and actually expand my knowledge on such an important topic as slavery. This book is not one with a huge climax, twists or shocking escapades but this book is a true Novel….. this is the sweeping tale of the Grimke’ women and everything they touch. This book spans 35 years of life that is actually based on true historical figures.
I loved that this book brought up so many moral questions inside myself….what would I have done? Would I have the courage to fight for something I believe in like these characters had? This book is also really sheds light on the little value women had in the past.
I loved this book and these characters became my family for 2 weeks.