Honestly, I'm too tired to give this book the review it's due. But here is a little teaser: This book primarily tells the stories of Hetty "Handful" Grimke and Sarah Grimke and is set in early nineteenth century Charleston. Though the girls have the same last name, their relationship is not of sisters, but of owner and slave, as 10-year-old Hetty was given to Sarah for her 11th birthday. The novel follows them throughout the next three decades.
Though the two come from very different backgrounds and circumstances, their lives follow somewhat parallel paths. Both girls wish to escape beyond their pre-determined roles. Hetty dreams of freedom from slavery, while Sarah can't imagine a life as a Southern wife and mother. She wants to be a lawyer like her father. Sarah also holds a moral repugnance towards slavery that the rest of her family doesn't have, which leads her to help Hetty in ways that could get them both in a lot of trouble, such as teaching Hetty to read.
As the girls mature into women, both keep pushing towards their respective freedoms. Hetty helps in the planning of a slave revolt, while Sarah becomes more vocal in opposition to slavery and the suppression of women.
"The Invention of Wings" is too grand of a novel for me to go into much more detail, and since I'm also on a deadline, I'm going to quit with the recap here and going into whether I liked it or not. And that answer is yes. I was a little reluctant to read this, as I had read a previous Kidd book and it didn't really do anything for me. But I found "Invention" to be a very strong story. My interest in the book increased about half-way through when I realized that - it's historical fiction! Sarah and Hetty are real people! Who knew? Well, probably anyone who reads the book jackets or a review of the book before reading it. But since that is something I generally don't do - I had no idea. Sarah Grimke was actually the first person to develop a public argument for women's rights. Again, who knew? Man, I need to study history a little deeper.
And I made my deadline with 10 minutes to spare! Whew! Goodnight!