The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
This is the life story of Sarah Grimke, the daughter of a wealthy family in Charleston, and Hetty, the slave Sarah is given on her eleventh birthday. Sarah is uncomfortable with the idea of owning another person and immediately tries to set Hetty free, but her family will not allow it. Throughout her life Sarah is against slavery, but as a woman from the south what can she do? Hetty is taught by Sarah to read and by her mother to hate her lot in life and these strong women guide Hetty in her own struggles to want to one day be free.
I’ll admit it now. I didn’t want to read this book. I really didn’t like the author’s last book, The Mermaid’s Chair, and I tend to disagree with Oprah on her book choices. But I will now admit that the author and Oprah picked a winner with this one. Told in alternating chapters narrated by the two main characters we see how slavery is an institution hard fought by individuals, especially women, but how perseverance, guts and gumption can go a long way even against what appear to be insurmountable odds. As with all big changes small steps must come first and this story tells of the small steps these two women take, as well as others attempting to enact changes against slavery on the streets of Charleston and the parlors of the North.