Top positive review
A thickly imagined story inspired by the life of Sarah Grimke
on 11 November 2017
The Invention of Wings is an entertaining and thought provoking novel, describing life in 19th century Charleston, South Carolina, from the very different perspectives of Sarah Grimke (the daughter of slave owners) and Handful (a family slave.) The chapters alternate between the inter-connected stories of Sarah, who is trapped by her sex and upbringing, and Handful, who has mo rights at all. I enjoyed the 2bd half of the novel more as in their different ways both slave and slave owner rebelled against their status. The Author’s Note that immediately follows the novel is particularly illuminating. Sarah and her sister Angelina were indeed powerful advocates for the abolition of slavery and women’s rights and the inspiration for the book. “My aim was not to write a thinly fictionalised account of Sarah Grimke’s history, but a thickly imagined story inspired by her life.” Plot 4/5, Characterisation 4/5, Literary Merit 4/5, Readability 4/5. Overall 4/5.