Friday, 16 October 2015

Review: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Title: The Invention of Wings
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Publisher: Tinder Press
Publication Date: 25 September 2014
Pages: 448
Genres: Historical Fiction

The Invention of Wings

Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah's eleventh birthday, Hetty 'Handful' Grimké is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift. Sarah knows what she does next will unleash a world of trouble. She also knows that she cannot accept. And so, indeed, the trouble begins ...

A powerful, sweeping novel, inspired by real events, and set in the American Deep South in the nineteenth century, THE INVENTION OF WINGS evokes a world of shocking contrasts, of beauty and ugliness, of righteous people living daily with cruelty they fail to recognise; and celebrates the power of friendship.

I love me a good historical fiction, and I loved this book.

 I must confess I did enjoy Handful's story a lot more than Sarah's. The book describes through Handful, the point of view of slaves and what they went through in the years before the civil war quite poignantly. It is always shocking for me to read the details of exactly how slaves were treated and punished, it is a kind of horror a modern reader finds hard to truly comprehend.

 Sarah was a truly modern woman, way ahead of her time and I loved her as a strong female character. I loved how she refused to marry and listen to the scoldings and teachings from the various men in her life; and I loved the expansion of her true factual origins in history in the authors note at the end. The role of important women throughout history often does get neglected and the stories of brilliant women such as Sarah and Angelina seldom get told.

 It was a thoroughly enjoyable book, I would highly recommend it.

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