(Review) The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of Wings

Publisher and Publication Date: Penguin Books. 2014.
Genre: Fiction.
Pages: 384.
Source: Little Free Library in Fayetteville, Texas.
Rating: Recommend. Excellent.


The Invention of Wings is a story based on Sarah Grimke. She was a abolitionist during the early 19th century.
After reading several of the websites with information on Sarah Grimke, The Invention of Wings shows correct information in regards to her family of origin, the handmaid she taught to read and was then whipped, the Episcopal upbringing and conversion to Quaker, the letter that was published without permission and thrust her into the abolitionist movement, public speaking tour, and the close relationship with her sister who worked alongside her in the movement.
The book is correct in many factors. The story of the character Hetty “Handful” Grimke, who was a slave and handmaid to Sarah, this story is fictionalized. In the Author’s Note, Kidd wrote she tried to be true to the character of Sarah Grimke. I believe she did.

Links for more information on Sarah Grimke:
Women History-blog


Sarah Grimke 1792-1873

My Thoughts:
I love this story!
•Two women from vastly different worlds, even thought they lived in the same home. Both were restrained by the culture and standards of being a female in the 19th century; and by the belief of a people group that human bondage was justified.
I cannot imagine the courage it took for Sarah Grimke to leave her home in South Carolina and relocate to Philadelphia. It took grit to change religions. It took grit to speak out publicly against slavery. It took grit to remain single and without a husband in a male dominated culture.
I enjoyed reading about Sarah Grimke, and this is the first reason I love this story.
•The voice of Handful shifted away from the refinement of the plantation owners, and even away from Sarah. Handful is a strong character. She is a person who is intelligent and wanting so much to speak for herself. She has spirit. And I loved her all the more for it!
•Sarah’s mother is the real nemesis. The father is the plantation owner, but it is the mother who is in charge of the household servants. She is despicable. I feel that all the hate she has for her life and situation is taken out on the slaves. She looks for creative ways to punish.
•Kidd breathed life into both Sarah and Handful. I easily pictured their lives in my mind. This is the main reason the book was difficult to lay down. I became immersed in the story from the first page.



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