The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd

Title: The Invention of Wings
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Pages (File Size): 383 (1.1 MB)
Published: 2014
Challenges: E-book, Historical Fiction
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: E-book
Source: Personal

Description: 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. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: Prior to reading, I had heard of Sarah Grimke through a documentary series that aired on PBS last fall about the story the African-American experience and when a group that I follow on Goodreads decided to read the book, I thought that it would be a good time to read the book.  I knew that the story had been fictionalized and did appreciate that the author addressed the fact that there were things that had been changed to suit the story better.

I tended to enjoy Sarah's story more than that of Handful's, even though there were times that I was able to get engrossed with Handful's story at times.  I also felt that the first third of the book was easier to get through than the last 2/3 of the book, which sometimes felt like a bit of a slog at times.

Bottom line: While I found the book to be a bit of a struggle to get through, I did find the story to be interesting and it peaked my interest a little more in Sarah Grimke and would recommend the book to those that have an interest in literature about the abolishment movement and those involved with the movement.  Recommended.

Rating: 3/5

Pages for 2014: 21,978


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