"The Invention of Wings", by Sue Monk Kidd"

The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd

This fiction is inspired by actual historical figures and is the extraordinary story of struggles for freedom. Set in South Carolina in the early 19th century this powerful novel tells the story of four women from Charleston, Sarah and Angelina Grimké, two sisters from a prosperous white family and Hetty and Charlotte, a black mother and daughter who are the house slaves. They all share the ardent desire to break free but for different reasons.

 

Drawn from the Grimké sisters’ real-life as abolitionists and feminist this moving and gripping story of urban slavery is a rich depiction of the lives of free women imprisoned by the lack of rights. Hetty Handful and her mother Charlotte are fictional persona and compelling characters representing trapped individuals in a household where cruel punishments and abuse are frequent.

 

The plot unfolds in alternate chapters and weaves the voices of two verbally narrators: Sarah Grimké, and Hetty Handful. The language is exhilarating and emotionally entwines early on. Hetty’s voice is colloquial with occasional dips into nonstandard grammar while Sarah’s voice is by far less colourful but still holds a punch. Through their eyes we are shown a long and painful voyage…

 

This thought-provoking story not only depicts the brutality of slavery in vivid and meticulous detail but also openly displays the greed of men and the will of women clamped shut by law, society and religion….

 

This is a riveting page-turner from book end to book end. In the last chapter the author’s separates facts from fiction and explains why she distorted and enhanced portions in order to make this a more enjoyable read.