The Invention of Wings – by Sue Monk Kidd – independent book review – Historical Fiction (United States)

A skillful blend of fact and fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes on slavery and the abolition movement. Awarded five stars on Goodreads.

In this novel, Kidd weaves together the fact-based story of the two Grimke sisters (Sarah and Angelina – famous Southern abolitionists) with her own imaginative story of their young slave, Handful. 

Telling their stories over the course of 36 years (1803-1838), Kidd alternates chapters between Sarah and Handful, using their distinctive voices to portray two sides of the growing abolition movement and the beginnings of the women’s rights movement.

Even when living apart, the bond between Sarah and Handful is as strong as that between Sarah and her sister. And the transformations both Sarah and Handful undergo through 3+ decades run parallel.

The Grimke Sisters (quite the fearsome looking pair)

This is not an easy book to read. The horrors of slavery are graphically detailed. But it’s a ride well worth taking because you’ll finish the book with a much deeper understanding of this embarrassing chapter in American history.

Sue Monk Kidd

More about Sue Monk Kidd.