By Sue Monk Kidd
(Viking Adult, $28)
In this historical novel, Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees) tells the intertwined stories of abolitionist and feminist Sarah Moore Grimké from Charleston, S.C., and Hetty “Handful” Grimké, the slave she is given for her 11th birthday. In a narrative spanning almost 35 years, Kidd alternates between their two voices, drawing readers into a tale of love, oppression and awakening in which the bonds between women matter most of all. The portrayal of Hetty is largely fiction, but Kidd draws heavily on historical sources to depict Sarah, her sister Angelina and the free black leader, Denmark Vesey, whose planned rebellion sets the antebellum South on edge.