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Words of a Bibliophile

"It's only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away." —Bee Gees

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of Wings: A Novel - Sue Monk Kidd

"...I felt the old, irrepressible ache to know what my point in the world might be. I felt the longing more solemnly than anything I'd ever felt, even more than my old innate loneliness."

This book is divided into chapters told by Sarah Grimké, one of America's first female abolitionists and feminist thinkers, and those told by Hetty 'Handful' Grimké, a slave in Sarah's household. While I felt Handful is sometimes overshadowed by the character of her mother Charlotte, I was more drawn to Sarah's story and her struggle to find a purpose in life. The novel is engaging but not a huge page-turner. Several years are sometimes skipped within a few pages due to the wide scope of the story, yet not much time seems to be spent to dwell on Sarah's actual life as an antislavery and women's rights activist — she only becomes one in the sixth and final part of the book, near its end. But Kidd's effort to draw more attention to the little known Sarah (and her sister and fellow activist Angelina) through historical fiction should be commended.