Good Reads: Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings

inventionofwingsFormer Mount Pleasant resident and Georgia born author, Sue Monk Kidd, recently published The Invention of Wings.  The novel is a fictionalized account of former Charleston, South Carolina resident, Sarah Grimke, an abolitionist and feminist born before her time.  Opening in 1803, the novel follows Grimke, a white woman, and Hetty/Handful, an African-American who is conveyed to Sarah as her slave, from their adolescence through middle age.  Exploring the streets of Charleston, exposing the horrors and pathos of slavery in an urban setting, and the imposition of societal limits upon individuals, the novel traces the development of the two girls as they become women and grapple with their destinies and the limitations imposed upon them by Charleston society and law.  Charleston’s landmarks, such as St. Phillips, the old Slave Mart, and the Market, are scattered throughout the novel while some of its key historical events, such as the execution of African-American freeman, Denmark Vesey, and the creation of The Citadel, make it a familiar setting for local residents.  It is an interesting, intriguing and satisfying book:  a good read indeed.

About Lisa Smith-Butler

Associate Professor of Law Charleston School of Law 385 Meeting St., Suite 322B Charleston, S.C. 29403 843.377.2144
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