Friday, December 27, 2013
Review: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Sue Monk Kidd is the bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees so it's no surprise that she's back on the scene with an Oprah approved sophomore title. The Invention of Wings, similar to it's predecessor, takes place in the south and follows the lives of two women. Where the two novels differ is that The Invention of Wings takes place during a time in American history when the south wanted nothing more than to preserve its lot in the slave trade.
Sarah Grimke and Hetty(Handful) alternate the narration of this inspiring story. Each woman is anxious to find freedom. For one, that freedom is physical, and the other freedom from backwards thinking.
Sarah is from an aristocratic southern family where her father is a judge on South Carolina's highest court. She expects that some day she will be able to walk in his footsteps. For her 11th birthday she is given a slave named Hetty. The idea of owning someone is preposterous to Sarah, even then at a young age after seeing slaves savagely whipped and beaten.
Although this novel is based off of a true person, Handful is a fictional character. Sue Monk Kidd uses Handful's story as a slave to juxtapose with Sarah's own feelings of being trapped. Handful's story is also more emotional than Sarah's. This allows readers to get the sentimental intended value without noticing that it lacks somewhat in Sarah Grimke's storyline. Although each character experiences loss, Handful's story is more appalling.
Sue Monk Kidd gives readers a fictionalized account of a woman who is considered a pretty big deal in the Feminist Movement as well as abolitionism. Sarah wanted equality for all humans. Even during moments when the abolition movement needed more traction, she would not conform to elders who asked her to only support abolition. She felt it was her duty give both equal attention since both topics were of the highest importance to her and she very much believed this was her life's calling.
I very much enjoyed my first read, The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd. I even appreciate her providing where she differed from Sarah's true life and where she opted for what would make a better story. Kidd's fans will want to read this, and the Oprah 2.0 stamp on the jacket cover won't hurt. I recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read an inspiring, enthralling narrative covering the life of two very different woman who have one common goal: Freedom. ***
Copy provided by Viking via Netgalley