The improbable relationship between Sarah Grimke, the daughter of a prosperous judge and slave owner, and a slave named Handful is at the heart of this story, set in Charleston, South Carolina. Handful is presented on Sarah’s birthday as a gift—a personal maidservant. Told in alternating chapters narrated by Handful and Sarah over many years, the tale speaks of the oppression felt by both. Sarah wants an education such as the one her brothers are afforded; she longs to be a valued. Influenced by her rebellious mother, Handful, desires her freedom.
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