Excited at the prospect of her own home this naïve innocent looked forward to enjoying the good company of neighbours she could share with. But …………A short story.
My initial inspiration to write came from when I realised my life, as well as those of my ancestors, were anything but ‘normal’. They were certainly not ‘run-of-the-mill’. Originating within a very loving family I was, at a very early age, unexpectedly thrown into a very cruel world. Abuse, torture, violence and disappointment followed and have been my companions for as long as I can remember. However, there were also some enjoyable fun times that I recall with pleasure. For example: when a good friend and I, dressed in evening gowns and with our best jewellery on, fell face first into mud or when a young man, stopping me in the High Street, went on his knees to, as he put it, ‘worship’ me. These and other similar events still bring a smile to my face. Having survived the abuse, torture (World War II) and eventually escaping from domestic violence I went on to experience a variety of different employments. Laboratory assistant, night hospital orderly, machinist in a clothing factory, finally finding a niche in the world of public houses and night clubs as a barmaid and waitress. Though not glamorous these did provide the income, by working three jobs at the same time, to support and bring up my son. Regrettably I did not entirely leave abuse and violence behind me. But I am a survivor and am here to share a variety of tales, both factual and fictional, with you.
It can and does happen: A chance encounter that leads to romance, love and fulfilment. Equally, such an encounter may lead to fear, sorrow and loss. Both are met in this tale that crosses national and social boundaries and within which unwarranted evil plays a far too real part.
In all innocence the protagonists go about their daily lives occasionally taking in divergent activities out of curiosity or in the interest of learning more about life. Being caring and kind hearted both fail to understand why they are constantly warned about helping others. Ultimately, after numerous twists and turns, the truth behind these warnings becomes manifest with results never anticipated or expected.
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.
At the age of five this young girl suffered a loss which was to have a massive impact upon the rest of her life. Her innocence, loving nature and incredible naivety combined with her natural beauty where taken advantage of by family and strangers. After escaping from attempted sexual abuse she falls into the hands of an occupying force who torture and violate her and leave her for dead. Rescued by a local family she is ultimately, after many hardships, restored to her relatives through whom she meets a foreign national. Domestic violence leading to attempted suicide, near insanity and the contemplation of murder follow.
This is the first book in an abridged series recording this amazing life.