The Invention of Wings was recommended to my by a one of my good friends, who is an avid book reader. Her Goodreads page is one of my go-to sources for finding new books to read. When I had signed up for Audible, she sent me this story. This was also one of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club picks. You can find this and more at https://hello-sunshine.com/book-club
Every time I am alone in the car, I am following along with the story of Sarah Grimke and her family slave, Handful. It has broken my heart, split me wide open, and now I have to get my hands on anything that as to do with Sarah, her sister Angelina, Handful, and their lives in Charleston and beyond.
I did a little bit of research, to learn more about Sarah, Angelina, their families, and Hetty “Handful” Grimke. Sarah was a pioneer for not only slaves, but for women. The work that both Sarah and Angelina did in their time busted the Anti-Slavery movement and the Women’s Movement wide open. Both were outspoken against slavery, even though their family was part of the Aristocratic society in Charleston and owned slaves of their own. Hetty was Sarah’s house maid and Sarah did teach her to read. But the rest of Hetty’s history is unknown.
I wondered, why hadn’t I learned about Sarah and her sister? Why are their names not taught when discussing the history of the Anti-Slavery movement or even the Women’s Movement? Why are they lost in the history books?
Now, onto the actual book review. I listened to The Invention of Wings every morning and afternoon while commuting to work. I fell in love with Handful. Stubborn, smart, and knew how to hold her own. The relationship between her and her mother was beautiful. Even though, at times I felt it was more on Handful to keep the bond tight then on her mother.
Sarah was the odd child, in looks and personality. How at such a young age, she knew she was destined for something beyond the traditional path her parents wanted her to take, blows my mind. Despite her being a female, she tried at every opportunity to stand her ground and forge her own path. And she loved Handful, even if she wasn’t sure how to show it.
I could go on about the details of the story, the paths their lives took and how in the end, they intertwined. But, you need to read this one for yourself. You, just as I did and still do, need to see the horrors of slavery and plight of women. It was haunting, beautiful, and sinks down into your bones kind of story. Breathe it in. Let it settle into the nooks and crannies of your spirit for awhile. And remember, while this is fictional story, there is so much truth to be found in the pages of this book. Heartbreaking truths and strong, courageous women.