Friday, August 1, 2014

I Loved This Book!

"There was a time in Africa the people could fly. Mauma told me this one night when I was 10 years old."   And so this amazing story of two women . . . one a slave, one a slave owner . . . begins.


I was encouraged to read Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings by the gentleman who gave us our historical walking tour of Charleston, SC, when we visited there in June. I'm so glad that he suggested this amazing book to me. If you recall, Sue Monk Kidd was also the author of The Secret Life of BeesThe Invention of Wings is her newest book, just out in hardvoer this year.
 
This book, a work of historical fiction spanning the first half of the 19th century, is inspired by the lives of Charleston's wealthy Grimke sisters. The character of Sarah is based on Sarah Grimke, an early South Carolina feminist and abolitionist
 
 
Sarah's life is contrasted to the life of  Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a slave of about her own age, who was "given" to her as her waiting maid for her 11th birthday. As both girls grow into women, and  unlikely friends,  they tell the story of their own lives as seen from their very different places in the world.

Fiber artists will enjoy this book for the importance that quilting plays in telling the story of Handful's family. Since slaves were not allowed to learn to read, Handful's "Mauma" records her history for Handful through her story quilts. 
 
This quilt was actually done by Harriet Powers, herself a former slave. A book with photos and descriptions of her quilts, Stitching Stars, is available here.
 

In The Invention of Wings, both  Sarah and Handful struggle for freedom . . .Handful from the injustices of slavery, and Sarah from the expectations and constraints, especially for women, of life in wealthy 19th century society. As the book unfolds and the girls' lives continue to collide, the struggles for abolition and womens' rights begin to intertwine through these two strong female characters. One of the best books I've read on so many levels!

I read The Invention of Wings on our last camping trip, to South Arm, and later today we leave for our next one...to Searsport Shores, my very favorite place on the coast of Maine. Our neighbors at Applegate know we are headed out on another trip when they see us pull the Casita into the driveway to pack it up. And we have the best neighbors in the world...

Our next door neighbor stopped over with this brand new "Roadtrip" game which she bought for us when she saw it at a yard sale. She said that the tin it comes in reminds her of our Casita!


And then, when we got home from errand-running yesterday, we found this great Bob Marley "Upta Camp" sticker wedged into the screen door of the Casita. Now it just so happens that one of our very favorite neighbors is best friends with Bob Marley's mother, and Bob Marley practically invented the phrase "Upta Camp", so I have a pretty good idea who gave us the sticker. Thanks M.E.!

Here it is on the Casita.
 
We're all packed and, once I get off the computer, ready to go!
 


We're off to Searsport . . . with another LL Bean bag full of books to enjoy while we're there!
 


3 comments:

  1. Cheryl, have a great time. I love Sue Monk Kidd and have read many of her books. I will put this one on my list. You do have great neighbors!
    hugs,
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  2. This book is on my must read list so I appreciate your review. Have a great camping trip.
    xx, Carol

    ReplyDelete

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