The Invention of Wings | by Sue Monk Kidd

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.

The Good German | by Joseph Kanon

The Good German

The Good German by Joseph Kanon
(Picador, 2006, 482 pages)

I was reading a review of Kanon’s new novel Leaving Berlin which referred to The Good German and made me want to read it. I had seen the movie but there really isn’t much similarity between the two. It was a great thriller with good historical detail about Berlin immediately following the end of World War II.

The bestselling author of Los Alamos returns to 1945. Hitler has been defeated, and Berlin is divided into zones of occupation. Jake Geismar, an American correspondent who spent time in the city before the war, has returned to write about the Allied triumph while pursuing a more personal quest: his search for Lena, the married woman he left behind. When an American soldier’s body is found in the Russian zone during the Potsdam Conference, Jake stumbles on the lead to a murder mystery. The Good German is a story of espionage and love, an extraordinary recreation of a city devastated by war, and a thriller that asks the most profound ethical questions in its exploration of the nature of justice, and what we mean by good and evil in times of peace and of war.” –