Two women - each chafing against the limitations imposed upon her by others. One is a privileged young woman in a white Southern colonial family who wishes for a life of books, learning, and the law; the other is the young black woman given as her own personal slave.
It's a story novelists love to tell and it's been done a million times, but this one's not without its merits. Notably, this novel is spun from true historical figures Sarah and Angelina Grimke, sisters who became radical and much-publicized abolitionists in the early 1800s. While the book is fiction, much is based in truth.
Additionally, the contrast between the white and black women's struggles against her bonds is well-done and interesting. Each finds a way to free herself, however temporarily - one through activism, the other through quilt making (although that storyline's not terribly fresh, either).
It's a captivating story, and I did enjoy it. But if you're a Jennifer Chiaverini reader, this one's going to seem hauntingly familiar.