Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd

Quite different to her two previous books The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair, This looks like and reads like a work of fiction.  However, it is based on the truth.  Two sisters, Sarah and Angelina Grimke, two of the children of Judge John Grimke of Charleston, S Carolina became shining lights at thebeginning of the Abolition of Slavery movement , and yet..... who has heard of them?  So their story has been woven, with a little bit of fiction, and this has made The Invention of Wings a must-read.  Set between the years 1803 - 1838, before the American Civil War, this book will tell you more about slavery at that time than perhaps you want to know, but will make you understand more about human nature as a result.

It's told by two different voices - Sarah Grimke, and then Hetty Handful, the slave bestowed on her for her eleventh birthday as a handmaid.  Both are recognisable, but have traits you like and dislike, and eventually they will knit together into a story I recommend.  And please do read the author's note at the back.  Not long, but some surprises!

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