Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd

Publisher: Viking Adult
Pages: 384
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Hetty "Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid.We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.
As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.


Kritters Thoughts:   Told from two perspectives, Sarah a daughter of a wealthy judge in Charleston who owns a few slaves and depends on them and Handful one of the slaves of the home who becomes Sarah's personal slave.  Alternating between these two stories, the author provides a full perspective of the South during the years where slavery was prevalent and their lively hoods depended on the work these slaves did in their homes and plantations.  

This book slightly reminded me of one I just read The Wedding Gift and I loved that one, but this one still had an authentic feel.  Without putting out any spoilers, I loved that the author didn't include anything Civil War related.  I enjoyed reading the beginning rumblings of abolition and the start of the movement, but it didn't go there like so many other books do.  

The characters were fantastic.  It was so easy to get into the mindset of each of the narrators and fall in love with them as they navigated life.  I thought it was genius to have the two perspectives to allow for movement and changes in scenery - I loved it!

Surprisingly, this was my first Sue Monk Kidd book, although I own the others, I haven't read them yet.  After reading this one, I am definitely encouraged to read them and quickly!

Here is the only picture I remembered to take at the event!

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row



Off the Shelf 2014 Challenge: 1 out of 30






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