What you thought of the book,
I enjoyed the book. I liked both of the main characters, Hetty Handful Grimké and Sarah Grimké. The story was told in an interesting manner, alternating the first person narrative between each of these two characters. The book first starts by sharing with the reader Hetty’s point of view as a young slave girl, just before she is given as a birthday present to 11 year old Sarah. The next chapter shows Sarah’s abhorrence to the idea of receiving a person as gift. Each chapter moves the story forward varying between each of the girls, showing the story from their separate point of view.
Share any favourite quotes and tell us why
“People say love gets fouled by a difference big as ours. I didn’t know for sure whether Miss Sarah’s feelings came from love or guilt. I didn’t know whether mine came from love or a need to be safe. She loved me and pitied me. And I loved her and used her. It never was a simple thing. That day, our hearts were pure as they ever would get.” Location 805-7
I liked this quote because it shows the complexity of love. Sarah and Hetty loved each other, but because of their relationship, they were not on equal footing and this affected their relationship. It affected the power relationship, where Sarah, even though she would not exercise it, had all the power within the relationship.
Who was your favourite character, and what did you like best about this character?
My favourite character was Hetty’s mother, Charlotte. I thought that she was an interesting person and I thought it was fascinating how she fought against the injustice that she encountered. She could not stand up and speak against it, so instead she created small sabotages and used these as a method of fighting back. These instances of rebellion gave her a voice. She also tried to give her daughter the message of hope through the stories that she told.
Who did you like least? And why did you choose this character?
At first, I most distained Mama, but as the story progressed I replaced Mama as the most unpleasant person with her eldest daughter. I thought both of these characters were mean spirited and evil people. But once I finished the book, I had to add Sarah’s father to this list because he knew that slavery was wrong, but he continued to not only practice it in his own home but also to support it.
What was your favourite part of the book?
My favourite part of the book was when Sarah found her voice and even though she previously had a speaking disorder, she overcame it and started to speak out against the terrible wrongs being committed.
Did you find anything uplifting? If so, what part and why?
I found Hetty and her sister’s escape uplifting. I also found Sarah and her sister Angelina’s fight against slavery uplifting.
What did you think about the style and pacing of the writing?
I enjoyed the style and pacing of the book. I thought Sue Monk Kidd did a wonderful job of character development. I also found the historical aspect of the story to be educating and interesting. I liked the idea of these two sisters working together to speak out against what they believed was wrong and that they were based on actual people.
Overall how did you like this author?
I liked Sue Monk Kidd’s writing and I would read more of her work. I enjoyed the movie version of her previous book, The Secret Life of Bees and I now have the book. I am planning on reading it soon.
How would you rate this book?
3 Treasure boxes – A Very Good Book