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The Invention of Wings

Set in the first half of the 19th century, this book takes place primarily in Charleston, SC. Kidd describes some of the roots of the abolitionist and early women’s suffrage movements by blending real historical figures and fictional characters. The main characters are the slaveholding Grimké family and a fictional character named Handful Hettie. The greed, injustice and illogic of slavery make the first half of the book hard to read; you won’t find this pleasant. The opposition and eventual activism against slavery in the Quaker community was a relief in comparison. The Grimké sisters were real abolitionists and became infamous speakers and pamphleteers. They challenged women’s roles in society and in Society of Friends. It was good to read about their courage.

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