The Invention of Wings


I just finished a great book based on the lives of  Sarah Grimke and her sister Angelina, and a fictional character Hetty, a young slave, set between 1830 and 1870 in South Carolina.  The title of the book is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. It’s a piece of  historical fiction about Sarah growing up surrounded by slavery, and Hetty growing up as a slave, and how they both struggle throughout their lives against the injustice of the system. Sarah comes up in several of my blog posts, and is first introduced in a post dated June 30th, 2018. The book is written from the perspective of Sarah as she grows up, and the many struggles she goes through to go against her pro-slavery family, by becoming an abolitionist. It is also written from the perspective of Hetty, her complex relationship with Sarah, and the struggles and pain that Hetty faces as a slave and trying to break free from slavery.What really stuck out to me in the book was the relationship between Hetty  and Sarah. The relationship has many layers and is full of tension. However, despite their many differences, the two manage to create a strong bond.

5 thoughts on “The Invention of Wings

  1. This looks like a good book. I’ve not read it. Maybe I should! A well-written post and it kind of leaves me wanting more — it’s got mysteries — maybe like a good introductory paragraph. Or a blurb for the book jacket. it also comes off a bit mysterious — like a summary — as if you’re trying to protect those two characters. Lots of times people start with historical fiction and then go find out about the historical facts. You started with the historical facts and then read Sue Monk Kidd’s fictional take on those facts. What was it like to go from historical facts to someone else’s fiction about those facts? Can you tell us more about how it does and does not match up with your feelings and thoughts about the real-life Grimkes?


    1. Thank you for your comments. I would recommend for everyone to read the book. I feel as though the book fully captures the essence of the Grimke’s, and shows the pain Sarah felt growing up surrounded by people telling her she was wrong. The book presents the kind of aspirations Sarah had, and how they would have been taken away from her. I felt that Sarah might have had doubts, but still she would have persisted, and continued to be a staunch abolitionist and feminist. Starting with the facts, and then moving to the book, I felt as though I had a strong backbone of Sarah before reading a historical fiction piece on her. I think it would be strange to start with the book, and then move onto the facts. Once again, thank you for your comments.


  2. I love these posts! I’m not sure how to comment on the post below…. It does take more than one person to break the status quo… we see how much RBG has fought for and accomplished and she is deserving of our praise. Yet she (as Uncle Erik likes to quote) stands on the shoulders of giants. And I love that you point that out here. Each one of us can push the needle that little bit and be a part of the success of others, and therefore, ourselves. We might not end up where we thought we should or get accolades, but we are as important in our struggle as those who score the winning goal, so to speak.


      1. Thanks, what you said really resonates with me. You’re right, we can each play our part to push for equality for everyone., even though we may not see it in our lifetime. I like the Issac Newton quote, Sarah Grimke never lived to see women get the right to vote, and even though slavery was abolished after the civil war, it would be another 100 years before African-Americans even began to be treated as equals, with the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Thanks again for your comment.


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