The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd

Find in catalogThis is a beautiful work of historical fiction, and surprisingly also a page turner. Using a backbone of real historical persons and factual events, Kidd uses the eyes of two women to tell a story of the forging of a kind of friendship between two women who live parallel but vastly different lives due to forces beyond their control. Kidd alternates the chapters between the slave Hetty and her reluctant owner Sarah Grimke. The book is fairly short, and a fascinating introduction to these important female historical figures during pre Civil War Charleston. Perhaps the one thing I wished for more of was additional exploration of Sarah’s other relationships, although some deeper elements of Hetty’s relationships were rewarding on this front. One of the most enjoyable parts of this book was the reader being drawn in to observing and continually evaluating or reflecting on: what is possible in a friendship, how and when to do the right thing, what surprising similarities subtly exist in people’s lives as well as dreams realized and not.

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