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The Invention of Wings

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd is a historical fiction novel set during the nineteenth century and tells the story of two women from different worlds, both fighting for freedom.

Hetty “Handful” Grimke and her mama are slaves for a well-to-do house in Charleston, North Carolina. They work hard and keep their heads down, rebelling in their own ways here and there.

Sarah Grimke is one of several Grimke children in a house where rules are rules and ones image in society is of the utmost importance. On Sarah’s eleventh birthday, she is “gifted” Hetty as her handmaiden.

The story continues, following both Hetty and Sarah through the next 35 years as each struggles in their own way to break the bonds of slavery and earn women’s rights. Inspired by the historical figure, Sarah Grimke, Kidd take the reader on a journey through abolition and women’s rights.

This was the book chosen for my book club and I’ll admit that I had some trouble connecting to the story at first. Though time was passing, I didn’t feel like a whole bunch happened until closer to the end of the story. I didn’t actually know the book was inspired by a true story and when I read the author’s notes at the end, I became a lot more interested in the book than I was at first.

Both Hetty and Sarah’s stories were about freedom in their own ways. And funnily enough, I liked the first half of Hetty’s better than Sarah’s but the second half of Sarah’s better than Hetty’s. But there was just something missing, some disconnect that kept me from giving this one four or five stars. I’m not sure quite what it was, maybe discussing it at book club will help.

This one gets 3.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!


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