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The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd
The Invention of Wings is a story told in two voices. The first voice we hear is that of Hetty Handful. She is a young slave on a plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. The image of wings to her is of freedom.
The second voice we hear is from Sarah Grimke. She is a daughter of the plantation owner and was given Hetty Handful on her twelfth birthday. She longs for freedom as well.
These two girls grow together into adulthood, both searching for the wings that will allow them to soar. One dreams of freedom from servitude, the other longs to provide that freedom. They draw strength from each other and a friendship blossoms over time, despite their different circumstances.
I was surprised to learn that The Invention of Wings is based on historical events and people. The lives of the Grimke sisters is an inspiration and I am so happy to see that Sue Monk Kidd has placed a spotlight on what they managed to accomplish. The fictional account of their lives is told using rich imagery and with heartfelt emotion that is at times raw and hard to read. The Invention of Wings is a beautiful book, timeless in the telling that is sure to become a classic.