Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Some of us had our reservations with this book based solely on the fact that it’s an Oprah Book Club Book. Usually, that implies something super depressing and dark. Although the topics were heavy, we all really liked the book and were glad we read it. So give Oprah a chance on this one:). Keep in mind that some versions of the book have her commentary on the bottom (yes, like a Bible), but you can find them without. That’s the route I chose, and it’s the same reason I don’t order an “Oprah Chai” at Starbucks!
A story (in which a great majority of it is true) that takes place in the early 1800’s in the South (Charlestown). It delves into the lives in a household, both the slaves and the white family that owns them. The complex relationship between the rebellious Sarah Grimke and a spunky slave girl named Handful is explored. The horrors of slavery are brought to the surface, and we also wind into the world of women and the many ways in which society enslaved them.
Slavery in its many forms, outward and internally.
Religion being used to suppress
Different ways that people dealt with the horrors of slavery
Dreams for a future in a hopeless time
The role of women
Good questions that came up
Are there things in society now that are enslaving us, especially as women?
How do you think you would have reacted if you were in that time period faced with slavery?
What are some ways today where inequality or a “caste system” is still expressed?
Comparing and contrasting relationships in the book
As a slave, was it better to keep your child safe by submitting to slavery, or encourage the dream of the small chance of freedom knowing the punishment could be severe?
Spent the most time discussing
How awful slavery was, and the viewpoint of inequality.
The role of mothers in today’s society. Stay at home versus working moms, and the stigma or judgement that can follow each side. Double standards, and balancing careers and passions with motherhood. Is it possible to do both without sacrifice?
The Feminism spectrum
Intellectually we can stand for a principle, but sometimes when it becomes reality, it isn’t as easy to be bold or resolute.
I think that the majority of the night we talked about the book! That definitely says something with our group:). If you are looking for a well written book that keeps you engaged, then I’d definitely recommend Invention of Wings. Although slavery is a topic that leaves a pit in my stomach (and makes me wish I wasn’t white honestly), it is part of our history and should not be ignored. You will fall in love with some of the characters, and perhaps look at the world around you a little differently.
Angie grants this book 4 out of 5 Halos!
Next Book Up
See you in early November for the next peek inside book group!
Laughter & Literature~
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