The Invention of Wings By Sue Monk Kidd
Not long ago I found a new way to read books (I claimed my sons’ kindle as my own after finding it at the bottom of his closet…under a bucket of shoes. #crazymaking) I am now a library-card-carrying kindle reader. This way I have a slim little book with me at all times so I don’t miss an opportunity to read – I’m talking to you, thrice weekly soccer practices). I checked this particular book out from the library having heard an interview on NPR. I’ve also read previous books of hers like The Secret Life of Bees, The Mermaid Chair and When the Heart Waits.
Set in the early 1800’s, deep-south, this is a rich novel about true freedom set in a time period of brutal slavery and oppression of women. This is a little bit like The Help with its themes of hope in the midst of impossibility. I fell in love with Sarah Grimké, the 19th-century abolitionist and women’s rights pioneer, that Kidd depicts in this gritty novel. She’s complicated about many things except her desire to live life based on the Truth in her heart.
“Goods and chattel. The words from the leather book came into my head. We were like the gold leaf mirror and the horse saddle. Not full-fledge people. I didn’t believe this, never had believed it a day of my life, but if you listen to white folks long enough, some sad, beat-down part of you starts to wonder. All that pride about what we were worth left me then. For the first time, I felt the hurt and the same of just being who I was. After a while, I went down to the cellar. When mauma saw my raw eyes, she said, ‘Ain’t nobody can write down in a book what you worth.’”
This book awakens in me the desire to become a warrior for any under-helped, overlooked, on-the-fringe people I see. I am re-emboldened to make sure my daughter never underestimates the power of a woman’s heart to change the world.
A MUST READ!
Have you read it? Did you quit reading it in the middle of the first chapter? We’d love to hear from you!
Christina’s never steered me wrong in the books she has suggested. I have a stack of books on my bedside table, that are part of my New Year’s resolutions. So far, I have read portions of each book, but have finished exactly zero of the seven books sitting there. However, I have followed the journey of a few, on “My 600 Pound Life,” in case you think I just sleep my life away.” Not impressed? I didn’t think so. I’m truly desperate to read, but I don’t. However, this book will be added to my stack and I WILL accomplish my New Year’s resolution. I absolutely love books that awaken or renew new desires and if Christina says it will, my bets are that it will!
That’s funny, Holly! I’m fairly certain I have the exact same stack of books on my nightstand. I literally have SIXTEEN mean-to-read, wanna-finish books of every variety with book marks shoved in pages. I love Christina’s description of this book and the way she paces her review. It really does make me want to read it! I actually just checked it out of the library, along with some other, shall we say, “less sophisticated” books. I wasn’t sure if I would crack the cover, but this review and Christina’s “bottom line” will hopefully push me over the edge! Even just writing this, I now have some accountability, so hopefully I can answer the final question. Maybe someday you’ll “hear from me!” 🙂
2 thoughts on “Worth A Read?”
I read The Invention of Wings last year and agree with your recommendation completely. It was compelling, intriguing, raw. I found it fascinating that the story was loosely based on a real life pair of sisters who were outspoken abolitionists. Sue Monk Kidd wanted to create a story around the real facts she knew from their life and she did it well. These are the types of books I want my daughters to read because they bring history to life in a way that moves you so differently than a text book or documentary. Two thumbs up.
Great review, Christina! I, too, loved the book…actually devoured it quite rapidly, which is very unlike me. "The power of a woman’s heart to change the world!!" What a great reminder!