Wednesday, January 22, 2014
THE INVENTION OF WINGS (SUE MONK KIDD)
Thorndike Press|January 8, 2014|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-670-02478-0
A New York Times Bestselling Author Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world. Hetty "Handful" Grimke, an urban slave in early 19th century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls of the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke's daughter, Sarah, who has always known she is meant to do something large in the world, is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women. On Sarah's eleventh birthday, she is given ownership of ten-year-old Handful, and we follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty-five years.
THE INVENTION OF WINGS was a gripping read and is based on the life of Sarah Grimke. Sarah was an aristocrat from the south whose father was a bigtime judge. The family owned slaves and on her eleventh birthday, Sarah is given a slave of her own named, Handful. She was appalled at this "gift" and refused but was forced to accept her. Sarah just couldn't digest the fact that someone could actually "own" another person.
Handful was just ten-years-old so she and, Sarah became more friends rather than slave and owner. Handful did complete tasks normally carried out by slaves but Sarah felt terrible even asking her.
Both Sarah and Handful want freedom - Sarah to be free to choose her own vocation, that of being a lawyer which is unheard of for women of her era and - Handful to be a free person and not owned by anyone.
Sue Monk Kidd does a wonderful job of portraying the harsh realities of that time, especially the deplorable treatment of slaves. This is one read you don't want to miss.