The Invention of Wings is the story of two smart, stubborn and beautiful woman born ahead of their time. Held back by men and laws that long ago conformed to the idea that they were inferior.
I couldn’t have explained then how the oak tree lives inside the acorn or how I suddenly realized that in the same enigmatic way something lived inside of me—the woman I would become—but it seemed I knew at once who she was.
How can something so amazing break your heart? I found it hard at times to look at my countries past straight on without feeling the uttermost shame in it's acts. At the same time, there was a bubbling of pride in both Hetty and Sarah. Two woman born in two different situations that found themselves allies and sisters of the heart. Set in Charleston, South Carolina in start of 1807 we meet Sarah Grimké the daughter of a high class Charleston family, is given for her eleventh birthday a slave to own. Hetty is 10 at the time and when she finds herself now sleeping at Sarah's door to be her handmaid this starts something between them that lasts 30 years and many unimaginable moments.
She laid the book down and came where I was standing by the chimney place and put her arms round me. It was hard to know where things stood. People say love gets fouled by a difference big as ours. I didn’t know for sure whether Miss Sarah’s feelings came from love or guilt. I didn’t know whether mine came from love or a need to be safe. She loved me and pitied me. And I loved her and used her. It never was a simple thing. That day, our hearts were pure as they ever would get
I should say that as I found my heart breaking at times, I found these woman in history so inspiring. I live in a world where my words, beliefs and views can be voiced without me finding myself shunned or in jail. Sarah finds herself to be smart with a mind for learning but she's born into a family and time that doesn't believe she capable of a life outside of wife and mother. Her journey is the main focus of The Invention of Wings. With alternating POV's with Hetty and her life as a slave in her families home. Hetty journey is some ways mirrors Sarah's, she doesn't marry or have children. Hetty endures some unimaginable heartbreak her prison is her body while Sarah's is her mind. Through the book we see each change and although time is spent apart there is a kinship between them that was forged at the age of 11.
In conclusion, The Invention of Wings is beautifully written and painstakingly researched. It was a privilege to get an advanced copy of this book and I found myself immersed into this story until the very end. So much happens within these pages, love, pain, happiness and heartache. You cannot help but find a connection to Sarah and Hetty, I know that I did. This is was my second book my Miss Kidd and it may be my favorite!
This ain’t the same Sarah who left here. She had a firm look in her eye and her voice didn’t dither and hesitate like it used to. She’d been boiled down to a good, strong broth. Her hair was loose, dangling along the sides of her neck like silk vines, like the red threads I used to tie round the spirit tree, and I saw it then, the strange thing between us. Not love, is it? What is it? It was always there, a roundness in my chest, a pin cushion. It pricked and fastened. Those girls on the roof with the tea gone cold in the cup. She brought the lid down on the trunk.
ARC courtesy of PENGUIN GROUP via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All quotes were taken from the pre-published copy and should be viewed so.