There were only a few of us at the March meeting, where we discussed ‘The Invention of Wings’ by Sue Monk Kidd.
We all agreed that it was one of the best books we have read together. It is a beautiful story, but can certainly be difficult to read sometimes, with it’s harrowing descriptions of cruelty to slaves. The story takes place in 1805, when 11 year old Sarah Grimke is given ownership of a handmaid: 10 year old Hetty or “Handful”. Sarah is well beyond her years and her time, and is appalled by the entire situation. Sarah and Hetty become friends, and when it becomes apparent that she is unable to grant Hetty freedom, Sarah decides there are other ways to set her friend free.
The novel progresses over 35 years, and shows the incredible friendship between two unlikely women, and how they shape each others lives.
The book is inspired by Sarah Grimke, but is a work of fiction.
It lead to an interesting discussion about progression – how people who supported slavery were quite conservative, and how that may translate today. One member had a beautiful story about how her grandmother always called her shoulderblades her “angel wings”, which is a recurring theme in the book, so we also reminisced about family traditions and values.
All in all, we agreed that this was a book we would gladly recommend to friends and family, and we are looking forward to more work by Sue Monk Kidd.
In April, we will be meeting to discuss Stephen King’s ‘Joyland’.
College student Devin Jones took the summer job at Joyland hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. But he wound up facing something far more terrible: the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and dark truths about life—and what comes after—that would change his world forever.
A riveting story about love and loss, about growing up and growing old—and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time—Joyland is Stephen King at the peak of his storytelling powers. With all of the emotional impact of King masterpieces such as The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, Joyland is at once a mystery, a horror story, and a bittersweet coming-of-age novel, one that will leave even the most hard-boiled reader profoundly moved.