Based on real characters, this book fictionalises the lives of Sarah Grimke, daughter of a plantation owner, and a slave in her household called Handful. Both women refuse to be put into the box prescribed them, and fight for the lives they believe they can and should live, in the process challenging society and finding their wings. Sarah, along with her younger sister Nina, cannot live with slavery, and become abolitionists, while Handful rebels in whatever way she can, courting disaster in the process.
The story is inspiring and will please a lot of readers, and I found the Grimke sisters very interesting. They are certainly admirable women, and their actions helped change the course of history. I can recommend the book from that perspective, or for the heart warming relationships between the women, which gives them strength. However, this is perhaps not the best book about abolition, it seems a bit, well… white.
The Secret Life of Bees, the authors first novel, is a favourite book of mine, which I highly recommend, this book is not quite as good, but has a lot of the same elements which made that story so good.
Read it if: You liked Sue Monk Kidd’s other books, or if you liked books like The Help or 12 Years a Slave.