September 01

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Boy,  I’m late to the party with this one.

The Invention of Wings is everywhere – it has been instagrammed to an inch of it’s life and folk who don’t even like to read are you-tubing their love for it.

It has been patiently waiting by my bed for months but I kept skipping over it and choosing another book.  Who knows why.   It’s life as a book-lover I guess….too many books, not enough hours, yada yada.

So, is this one worth the hype?  You bet.

I. Absolutely. Loved. Every.  Single. Line. Of. It!   Sue Monk Kidd  is  a master.  But if you have read her most famous book The Secret Life of Bees, you know that already.

This offering  is harrowing and beautiful all at once and takes you to the deep south of Charleston, USA in the 1800s where life for both women and slaves is desperately BLEAK.  But heroines emerge so keep your pom poms close, along with your tissues, because you will be cheering for these wonderful women as they kick their way forward breaking horrendous barriers, and some hearts, along the way.

The main characters are Sarah Grimke and  her maid, Hetty ‘Handful’ Grimke, who Sarah is given for her 11th birthday as a gift.   Nina, Sarah’s baby sister arrives shortly after and they  form an unlikely trifecta of glorious feminine power-houses who effect extraordinary change, both big and small, far and wide,  with their passion and will.

The story stretches from their childhood through to their middle age and each step of it will haunt  and humour you, but their heroism and their heart will inspire you.   It is a triumphant,  sweeping novel based upon real events so expect to be shaken and sickened by the tales of slavery and torture and sexism.   It’s grim, I won’t lie.

But when given wings, our heroines soar and so will your heart when you finish this book.

And that is my 2 cents worth.