The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Okay, so people are raving about this book. I loved The Secret Life of Bees so I had high expectations as I approached this one.
But, wow, I really felt like I was reading a book that was supposed to teach me a lesson. Repeatedly.
The book consists of two inter-connected story-lines. Sarah Grimke is one of many children in Charleston, South Carolina, and she is an oddball. She wants to become educated and would love to follow in her father's steps and become a judge. But she's female. She also is against slavery, even though that's how her family made their fortune. At the age of 11, she receives a slave for her birthday present, Hetty.
Hetty, known as Handful to other slaves, is headstrong and smart, and then Sarah teaches her to read. Of course, she yearns to escape.
I feel like I had read this book before. It was nothing new to me--just another book about the relationship between a white woman and her slave. I think this is the problem when I've read a lot of books--I read something that non-readers love and I don't see the attraction. I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the language, especially the paragraphs at the end of chapters when everything was supposed to be dramatic.
"I was relieved and terrified in the same moment. I studied the compact defiance that made up so much of what she was" (353).
"I squatted down and stared her in the eyes. 'Don't you spare me. I've seen my share. I know what the world is'" (271).
The chapters are many and short and all of them end with some important quotation from one of the characters. It's almost like reading a Dickens serial that was created for the masses to read in short chunks.
I did read some adult book club books that I enjoyed this year: My Name Is Resolute, Bellweather Rhapsody, and The Word Exchange.
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