The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of WingsA well written and researched novel loosely based on the lives of Sarah and Nina Grimke, sisters who were active in the abolitionist movement and also advocated for women’s rights in the 1820’s and 1830’s. The story is told in alternating chapters by Sarah and by Handful, a slave given to Sarah on her 11th birthday. Each girl’s life is molded by the challenges and limitations of Charleston society in the early 1800’s. Sarah is a smart and ambitious young woman born into a wealthy privileged family but finds herself limited in the choices open to her as a female in this time in history. Handful, who is just as intelligent and ambitious for her life to offer more possibilities faces even greater challenges because she is a slave who doesn’t even have the right to learn to read or write. The bond between the two women and the courage they each had to find their freedom, despite the odds against them, makes for a inspirational and thought-provoking read.

Reviewed by Carol


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