Friday, April 4, 2014

The Invention of Wings

     The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd, is a poignant, imaginative story of Sarah Grimke and her slave, Handful.  Sarah Grimke was a real, but not widely known historical figure.  On Sarah's eleventh birthday she was gifted a slave girl named Handful.  Even though young Sarah has been raised with the wealth and power of the Southern aristocracy, she is appalled at the idea of owning Handful and attempts unsuccessfully to free her.  Sarah and Handful are bound by the laws and attitudes of the people around them.  Both girls yearn for freedom.  The story is passed back and forth between Sarah and Handful.  The contrast between the two women is riveting and moving.  
    Sue Monk Kidd used the framework of actual historical figures and events.  Sarah, and her younger sister Angelina, were two of the most famous women of their day and regularly interacted with many other notable figures of the time.  The women became outspoken abolitionists and early women's rights advocates.  One of Sarah's pamphlets influenced Harriet Beecher Stowe's writing of Uncle Tom's Cabin.  I have to wonder why the Grimke sisters are not better well known.
     The Invention of Wings will remain with you long after you have turned the last page.

     Please note:  There are two versions of this book.  One has annotations by Oprah Winfrey.  Readers claimed that in the ebook form the comments by Oprah became very distracting.  You may want to keep this in mind, if you read with a Nook or a Kindle.  I decided to read the book on my Kindle without Oprah's notes.    



PS:  I did not receive payment to review Invention of Wings.  I purchased it on Amazon.  If you should click from my page to Amazon to purchase it, you will not pay more.  I might make a small amount through your purchase.  The book in the sidebar is a link to Invention without Oprah's notes.  It can be a little hard to find on Amazon.

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