Sunday, November 30, 2014
"There was a time in Africa the people could fly."
Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.
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.
This 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." -- Amazon.com
I liked this book about the Grimke sisters and the early years of abolition and women's rights. I also liked learning about African customs through Handful and her mother Charlotte.
Date read: 11/29/2014
Book #: 41
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Books
# of pages: 373
Binding: Trade Paperback
Sunday, November 2, 2014
"Nat Greco felt like a cup in a double-D bra."
"Natalie Greco loves being a teacher, even though she can't keep her students from cruising sex.com during class. She loves her family, too, but her boyfriend fits in better with the football-crazy Grecos than she does. Then a colleague, handsome Angus Holt, talks Nat into teaching a class at a local prison, and her world turns upside down.
A violent prison riot breaks out, and Nat rushes to save the life of a mortally wounded guard whose last words are: "Tell my wife it's under the floor." Nat delivers the cryptic message, but before she knows it, she's suspected of murder and hiding from cops and killers alike. She is forced on the run to solve the riddle of the dead man's last words and to save her own life—and find real love." -- from the back cover
I enjoyed this fast-pace thriller. It had many twists and the characters were engaging. I especially liked the way Nat gained strength and confidence.
Date read: 11/1/2014
Book #: 40
Rating: 3*/5 = good
# of pages: 378
Binding: Mass Market Paperback