by Sue Monk Kidd

Based on the life of 19th century abolitionist and women’s rights pioneer, Sarah Grimke. The invention of wings follows her story and that of the slave Hetty (Handful)
Sarah is horrified when Handful is presented to her, bedecked in ribbons, as an eleventh birthday gift. Already traumatised by cruelty she has witnessed in the past Sarah insists Handful be sent back to her mother in the slave quarters. However, in a family where it is considered normal to own people, Handful is here to stay.

The girls form a tentative friendship but there are many boundaries. When Sarah teaches Handful to read, the consequences are dire for them both.

Both girls rail against racial inequality and Sarah is constantly frustrated by what is perceived to be the role of women in these times.
Handful’s history is documented in her mother Charlotte’s story quilt, a possession so precious she is willing to risk the consequences of stealing to continue it. When Charlotte mysteriously disappears, Handful finds many answers in the quilt she leaves behind.
Although Sarah eventually moves North,  she and Handful continue to fight injustice and to find their own voice.