This work of historical fiction is set in Charleston, South Carolina during the mid-1800’s and inspired by the life of Sarah Grimke. Sarah broke away from their wealthy and slave-owning family and became an abolitionist and feminist in Philadelphia. The book is also the story of Handful, a slave owned by the Grimke family. The author alternates the voices of Sarah and Handful to show how the aspirations and dreams of each woman were limited and thwarted by the restrictions of society and slavery but how each was able to find fulfillment and redemption.
“Alternating between Sarah’s and Handful’s contrasting perspectives on their oddly conjoined worlds allows Kidd to generate unstoppable narrative momentum as she explores the troubled terrain that lies between white and black women in a slaveholding society. . ..the novel’s language can be as exhilarating as its powerful story. . .by humanizing these formidable women, The Invention of Wings furthers our essential understanding of what has happened among us as Americans – and why it still matters.”—Margaret Wrinkle, The Washington Post
“Masterful. . .in short, provocative chapters we step into the lives of these amazingly brave and stalwart women. . .Wings is a story about empowering women to change the world. . .with historical bedrock as her foundation for a compelling narrative, Kidd serves up a remarkable novel about finding your voice.” —Carol Memmott, The Chicago Tribune