Sue Monk Kidd wasn’t a name I had heard of before this book. It’s definitely a name I’ll be looking out for on future book jackets.
The Invention Of Wings is a story following a privileged family and their black slaves. The story spans many years and unlike many books who do this, I can really feel time moving on and understand the character’s emotions and journey throughout this time span.
The main characters are Sarah, the daughter of a rich family who live in Charleston in the early nineteenth century and Hetty (Handful as she is more commonly known in the book) who is a slave of about the same age at Sarah.
The early part of the story tells the story of their friendship and how Sarah tried to empower Handful. It’s a real insight into what life was like back in this time. Restrictive for Sarah and restrictive, unfair and cruel for Handful.
The second part of the story involved Sarah’s younger sister Angelina (Nina), who we soon learn are at the forefront of fighting to abolish slavery and at the same time drive to fight for women’s rights too.
Although this is a story written by Sue Monk Kidd, the actual events are loosely based on Sue’s research around the true events of Sarah and Nina’s mission. Handful was a slave at their household, but much of her existence is just part of the story and not the truth.
The novel is really powerful and I love books like this, where the female characters are so brave and persistent. There’s a real depth to what they tried to achieve and I loved reading about it. A lot of the characters were brave, strong women, even though they were imprisoned by slavery. This is a great book to get your teeth into, a wonderful, yet sad story but one you really should read. It will make you appreciate the freedom we have in our time and what Sarah and Nina fought for, all those years ago.
The Invention of Wings is available to purchase now.
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