Monday, 2 June 2014

Guest Book Review: Sue Monk Kidd - The Invention of Wings

Reviewed by Sophie Hedley

Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah's eleventh birthday, Hetty 'Handful' Grimké is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift. Sarah knows what she does next will unleash a world of trouble. She also knows that she cannot accept. And so, indeed, the trouble begins...

A powerful, sweeping novel, inspired by real events, and set in the American Deep South in the nineteenth century, THE INVENTION OF WINGS evokes a world of shocking contrasts, of beauty and ugliness, of righteous people living daily with cruelty they fail to recognise; and celebrates the power of friendship and sisterhood against all the odds.

Amazon links Kindle or Hardcover

The Invention of Wings is an incredibly powerful, moving novel. In it, we learn the stories of Handful, a slave, and Sarah, who was ‘gifted’ the slave when she was eleven years old. This novel was fiction yet inspired by a true story which made it all the more heart-wrenching to read. The author did a stunning job.

The Invention of Wings is told in dual narrative and I thought this worked perfectly. Although I was drawn to Handful’s character more, Sarah’s story was just as interesting. The author holds nothing back – we’re not saved from the horrific treatment the slaves were subject to and although at times, it isn’t the easiest reading, it was gratifying seeing an author brave enough to write like this.

The characters were beautifully written too. The relationship between the slaves and between 
Handful and Sarah were very moving and touching. Some scenes were very emotional and I found myself choked up at times. The whole book felt very well researched and seeing the journey the characters were taken on was very inspiring.

This novel kept my attention throughout and it was not a book I wanted to put down. A fascinating subject matter written this well should not be ignored and The Invention of Wings felt like a special book. It tugged at the heartstrings and was a truly worthwhile read.

I'd like to thank Sam at Tinder Press for sending me a copy of this book and Sophie for reviewing it for me.  

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