The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
(Viking, 2014, 373 pages)
Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings takes place in the early 19th century in Charleston, South Carolina. The Grimke family has many slaves to help with the upkeep of their home and children. The book follows the lives of one of the Grimke children, Sarah, and her slave, Hetty, to whom she was given on her 11th birthday as a gift from her parents. Even at a very young age, Sarah is displeased by the idea of slavery not only because she feels that she doesn’t need anyone to do things for her but because she also feels that there are injustices in slavery.
The story follows the girls over the next 35 years and the parallels of their lives. Hetty is determined that she will one day be able to live a life of freedom while Sarah wants to see the abolishment of slavery and equal rights for women. These are two very courageous women who will stop at nothing and no one to fulfill their dreams.
I feel what makes this dynamic story even more powerful is that these events were skillfully researched and beautifully written by Kidd. I didn’t know until the author’s note at the end that this book was based on semi-factual events of the abolitionist movement and the life of an early leader in women’s rights, Sarah Grimke. It gave me a deeper appreciation for the women who made it their goal in life to fight for the freedom of slaves and equal rights and their trials and tribulations. Thank you Sue Monk Kidd for a compelling read.