The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Audiobook; Penguin Audio
Voices by Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye
On Sarah Grimke’s 11th birthday her mother presents to her Hetty “Handful” Grimke, a ten year old slave girl intended to be her handmaiden. Sarah is immediately appalled by the sight of little Handful with a bow quite literally tied around her neck. It’s this moment in her life where she begins to part ways with her family’s “way of life”, as they say, and discover who she is and what her purpose is in the world.
Inspired by the real life Sarah Grimke, an early female abolitionist, and equal rights advocate long before the word “feminist” was ever coined, Sue Monk Kidd delivers an exceedingly brilliant work of fiction. The story is narrated alternately by Sarah and Handful, each with their own style. I am absolutely delighted that I chose the audiobook version instead of a traditional book because, in my opinion, the narration of the two actresses was not only spot on but brought the story to life right before my eyes. Each actress provided multiple voices for varying characters but Lamia really outdoes herself!
I will be flat out honest in saying that I wanted to read the book due to it’s popularity and positive reviews but never really felt drawn to it. I think it’s possible that I just have a sincere dislike for red/orange based covers and it put me off somehow. Either way, I was persuaded by my friend Terah to give it a try and wow, am I glad I did. This is probably the best work I’ve read/heard all year. If I could award it ten stars, I probably would.
Do what you have to do, censure us, withdraw your support, we’ll press on anyway. Now, sirs, kindly take your feet off our necks.
Sue Monk Kidd delivers a compelling work of fiction based in the gruesome history of slavery. I felt myself wanting to join forces with them even to this day to fight for equal rights. Who would ever imagine that, 150+ years later, despite how far we’ve come there is STILL racial & gender inequality in the world today? It is unthinkable, unfathomable. Unacceptable. We must continue the fight, my friends.
“History is not just facts and events. History is also a pain in the heart and we repeat history until we are able to make another’s pain in the heart our own.”