Synopsis: The Invention of Wings follows the story of Sarah Grimke and Hetty in Charleston during a time when the South still had cotton fields with slaves. Sarah is a young woman when the story starts, with her mother giving her Hetty for her birthday. Sarah, though from a rich white family, has different views on slavery — she doesn’t want it and tries her hardest to fight it. During the many years the story covers, the reader gets an interpretation of Sarah’s life and Hetty’s — not only what it was like to be a slave during this time but what it was like to be an “owner” in the south against slavery.
“My body might be a slave, but not my mind. For you, it’s the other way round.”
— Sue Monk Kidd, The Invention of Wings
Review: In case you weren’t aware, this story is about real people. Sarah Grimke was a real person and she did have a slave named Hetty. I don’t want to ruin it for you on who they were but if you’re interested you can google Sarah Grimke. Anyway, I really liked this story, I gave it 4 stars out of 5 because it’s really emotional. You really get an idea of both leads in the story and how their lives were different but the same. Hetty and Sarah had a special bond, different from any that you would have thought could happen during that time. I chose the quote above because it really speaks volumes to the story — it was Hetty speaking to Sarah, Sarah was lost, she didn’t know what to do to not only save herself but also to save Hetty and the other slaves in the South. While at the same time, Hetty was a slave but her mind was not- she was determined to fight for what she believed was her right and this line was so important because Hetty not only wanted Sarah to fight but she knew Sarah could do more. This was an honest story, one of all of the things that bring to life not only the awfulness of slavery but what happened to people in the South who didn’t agree with “their way of life”.
I would be interested to know if others have read this. Or if they have any knowledge of Sarah Grimke. If you don’t, I’d recommend at least looking her up and understanding her story and what it meant for people like Hetty.
Click on the photo for more information from Goodreads 🙂