It's Friday . . . time to share excerpts from one of my current reads with:
- Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.
- The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
This week's selection:
Beginning: Part One November 1803--February 1805
Hetty Handful Grimke
There was a time in Africa the people could fly. Mauma told me this one night when I was ten years old.
My thoughts: Hetty Handful Grimke is such an interesting name. I want to know how she came to be called Handful, and learn more about the tale being told by Mauma.
Page 55-56: "Such occupations are what girls do together, but it was the first occasion for either of us, and we carried them out as covertly as possible to avoid Mother putting an end to them. We were crossing a dangerous line, Hetty and I."
From barnesandnoble.com: From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women.
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.
Enjoy life with books . . .
Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings #33 was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com. This post cannot be republished without attribution.