“She took a lavender ribbon from the top of the pie safe and circled it round my neck, tying a bow, while Aunt-Sister peeled the black off my cheeks with her rag.” p.13
Sue Monk Kidd has brought to life the story of two of America’s heroines, sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke, who helped to kick off the Abolition movement and also lit the early sparks of the women’s rights movement. Fascinating stuff!
Along with Sarah’s (mostly, but Angelina is a spitfire), the author imagines a parallel upbringing of a young slave girl named Handful. She was given as a birthday present to Sarah when she turned 11. Sarah was appalled and wouldn’t buy into the family tradition and tried to give Handful back. Or free her. Or… She couldn’t quite figure out how to deal with this quandary but she knew somehow that slavery wasn’t right.
Handful and her mother Charlotte are fierce and determined and patient. They are bright and dream for better.
“My body might be a slave, but not my mind. For you, it’s the other way round.”
I loved the Charleston SC setting. I love historical fiction. I really wonder why I don’t read more of it.
“… it came to me that what I feared most was not (the) speaking. That fear was old and tired. What I feared was the immensity of it all – a female abolition agent traveling the country with a national mandate. I wanted to say Who am I to do this, a woman? But that voice was not mine. It was Father’s voice. It was Thomas’. It belonged to Israel, to Catherine, and to Mother. It belonged to the church in Charleston and the Quakers in Philadelphia. It would not, if I could help it, belong to me.” p.320
One question. I either missed or it wasn’t given – I’m not sure – but I was confused what happened to the father. He had to fight an impeachment for something and I just didn’t get what happened there. TELL if you remember or know! Thanks.
And one more question: Can anyone explain “woof and warp”?
“The house, the slaves, Charleston, Mother, the Presbyterians – they were the woof and warp of everything.”
I have NEVER heard this expression, have you? Per the Dictonary.com site:
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Finally, another pie quote:
Tomfry, Snow, and Eli served, wearing their dark green livery hauling, in trays of crab pies, buttered shrimps, veal, fried whiting, and omelet soufflé.