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The Invention of Wings

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd

3/25 | Started 01.13.21 • Finished 01.29.21 | 4 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book club selection! The book follows almost the entire lifetime of two women: one privileged white woman, and one enslaved black woman. It flip flops between each character every chapter but the storyline flows quite well. Some of the characters are historically accurate, some are amalgamations of actual people, and some are entirely fictional.

Everything she knew came from living on the scarce side of mercy.

Set in Charleston, SC during the 19th century, the book vividly chronicles some of the violence and torture inflicted on the slaves. It also portrays some of the hardships endured by those who aligned with the abolitionist movement, specifically women, and the awkward marriage of abolitionists and women's suffragists.

She was trapped same as me, but she was trapped by her mind, by the minds of the people round her, not by the law. At the African church, Mr. Vesey used to say, Be careful, you can get enslaved twice, once in your body and once in your mind. I tried to tell her that. I said, “My body might be a slave, but not my mind. For you, it’s the other way round.”

I hesitate to say much more about the book for fear of spoilers, so I will just say that it is beautifully done. It shows the power of family, stories, and living by convictions. If you were a fan of Kidd's earlier novel The Secret Life of Bees, you are sure to enjoy this one.

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