logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Strong-female-characters
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-22 10:09
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd — A Story about Mothers, Sisters, and Slaves!
The Invention of Wings: A Novel - Sue Monk Kidd

 

 

Fifteen years before Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was wholly influenced by American Slavery As It Is, a pamphlet written by Sarah, Angelina, and Angelina’s husband, Theodore Weld, and published in 1839, the Grimké sisters were out crusading not only for the immediate emancipation of slaves, but for racial equality, an idea that was radical even among abolitionists. 

That is the kind of women this book is based on!

 

The first book that I read by Sue Monk Kidd was The Secret Life of Bees. It didn’t mince words when it came to the cruelties that slavery brought. While I loved the candor, what touched me, even more, is that the author didn’t mention those incidents in a salacious way. She included them in the story as the reality of that time. The focus remained on the characters who evolved as real people do.

 

This book wasn’t different in that regard either! Like always, I will try to review the story with quotes from the book. As I mention each quote, I will include the context it is taken from and what it signified to me.

 

7.jpg

Another thing that I have always loved about Ms. Kidd’s novels is that she weaves humor into her stories. With the subject being as grim as slavery, it should be difficult to make the reader laugh. The best part is that the humor doesn’t detract or mock the theme of the story. It simply makes it possible to go on reading and with what is happening in it, this is a good thing.

 

The Sisters

 

This particular quote is taken from a scene where one of the Grimké sisters is receiving a suitor in her drawing room. The fear of carnality had been put into her very recently by a man of God in the very words that she mentions here! What’s funny is that it is the fact that the man smells of soap that is making her think carnal thoughts (or at least, what she thinks are carnal thoughts).

 

1.jpg

This is how we are introduced to one of the main characters from this book, Handful. Born a slave, she was mouthy as heck and tough as nails. I loved right from the start, which was probably what the author intended. It is mentioned in the Author’s Notes (given at the end of the book) that while there is evidence of Handful having existed, she didn’t survive long enough to play an important role in the life of the Grimké sisters. I am glad that the author thought otherwise.

 

8.jpg

More of Handful’s golden words for you. This is her pretending to be brave while she was about to be punished severely enough that it left her with a maimed foot.

 

9.jpg

This is her description of the legalese that she had to muddle her way through before she could find out if she was being sold after her master’s death or retained for her services!

 

3.jpg

A few pages later, we are introduced to the other main character, Sarah Grimké.While Handful mouthed off to people, Sarah had trouble getting out a whole sentence without stuttering. She had the same iron backbone though that Handful did, which soon became evident when she tried to emancipate Handful at the age of 11!

 

5

This is how Sarah was indoctrinated to what was really happening around her. She was just a little girl then but the incident remained with her all her life. It was a defining moment in the life of her character. Consider the following quote to see how she arrived at the root of the problem of slavery. This is an excerpt from one of her letters to Nina, her sister and another important character in the book. She raised Nina like a mother on revolutionary ideas like equality and it paid off. Nina gave her strength and achieved things that even Sarah thought meant going too far.

 

12

She changed her faith and left the safety of her house later in life, so she could be the kickass feminist that we know her to be. This is one of my favorite moments from the book. While it might come across as caustically feminazi, it wasn’t so in the book. That being said, I could see the point the men were trying to make. By taking up both the causes of slavery and feminism, the Grimké sisters caused their followers to split into two groups. However, the point lies in the fact that they even had to raise their voices for either cause.

13

 

The Mothers

4.jpg

Sarah’s mother is one of the important characters in the book. She terrorized her slaves and refused to relent even when she was close to death. I think this quote defines both hers and her husband’s characters perfectly.

 

6.jpg

This is how we meet Handful’s mother, Charlotte. She shaped Sarah’s and Handful’s lives by being who she was. Even though she couldn’t do anything openly, she figured small ways to show her rebellion. She continued to do so, knowing the punishment would be too severe and there’d be hell to pay if she got caught! I think this quote would fit almost anyone who is living under an oppressive regime. Don’t you?

 

The Slaves

 

10.jpg

Handful is much smarter than people gave her credit for. Sarah, whom she said these words to, used to think that being a woman was keeping her from making a difference. Handful knew otherwise. When the story begins, we think that Sarah would be the one protecting Handful but this quote and the next one shows us how the roles are reversed.

 

11

I can’t wait to try out another Sue Monk Kidd book after having read and loved this one. Have you read it? How did you like it?

 

Image

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com< on September 22, 2017.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-09 08:42
A Review of the Feminist Fantasy book, A Plague of Angels, by Sheri Tepper in 6 Quotes
A Plague of Angels - Sheri S. Tepper

 

My second Tepper read was succulently good! I wanted to savor the book, so I took my time with it. I am sharing my favorite parts of the book here like I do in most reviews. However, this time, I have chosen 6 quotes that sum up how I felt about the book.

 

Quote # 1

Sometimes, it was the way the author described an emotion, such as the horror that a character felt when the Witch took her mask off.

 

 

Quote # 2

Other times, it was how a character expressed a philosophical thought about gangers simplifying language to such an extreme that they started looking down at poetry and literature. The quote below reminded me of the restrictions being placed on characters in the novel 1984.

 

If you take out the different words that describe completely different things that are also the same, what are you left with? For instance, I think love when I read the word, red. I don’t think that when I come across scarlet because I associate it with scandal. Then there is crimson, which reminds me of blood.  

 

 

Quotes # 3 & 4

Then there were times when a character stated the truth in the simplest manner. The line is easy to miss with so much else that is going on. Yet, if you stop and think about it, there is depth in those words. Two particular examples that made me shudder are mentioned below:

 

 

 

Quote # 5

As were the times when a character who is still young and inexperienced said something profound. I went back and read this quote multiple times because it resonated with me. If you find it touching your heart too, you might want to check out my review of The Handmaid’s Tale.

 

 

Quote # 6

Finally, there were some parts that sparked something in me. While reading them, I thought I could base my next story on these lines. I find that the books that end up on my favorites’ shelf have that in common. I think that each line in those books could be hiding a story in itself.

 

 

I would very much love to read the second book in the series even though it would be lacking one of my favorite characters from this one. Care to join me for a buddy read?

 

Image

Like Reblog Comment
text 2016-02-04 23:35
I'm the author
White People of L. A.: A Novel - Peter Fenton

Ask me anything.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2013-11-08 16:32
Moth by Daniel Arenson
Moth - Daniel Arenson

**No spoiler. Or spoilers, either.

 

Well, that was surprisingly good. I wasn't sure what to expect of Moth, but with that kickass synopsis (seriously, did you read that frikkin thing?), I had an inkling that I would like it. And I did.

 

Without taking into account the logistics or science, it's a fascinating world these people live in. Half is bathed in eternal sunlight and half is cloaked by eternal night. Yesss. I dunno why I hissed, but I really like that.. There's more to it, though. The people of each half know little of their neighbors. Both sides are shrouded in mystery for one another and myths and speculation abound. Much like in our own world, their respective ignorance breeds fear and hate.

 

We get a few POV's that are, thankfully, not in 1st person. The "main" POV, Torin, is a likable fellow with a fantastic sidekick who would have made an even better MC. Bailey is a kickass chick with a big heart. I instantly liked her. I want her to have her own storyline. I think she's capable of great things.

 

At first, I was concerned about one character in particular - Koyee - who had a very boring and immature voice. In time, her story managed to ensnare me and I came to care for her deeply. The majority of my personal angst, as evidenced by my angsty status updates, can be attributed to this character and her journey.

 

The truth is that I cared for nearly all of the characters. At one point, we're introduced to a new group and again, I didn't think I'd care much about their story, but in time, I did. You have a gift, Mr. Arenson.

 

All the characters are rich, flawed and endearing, except for those few that are rich, flawed, and infuriating. Even they are great characters, though. They certainly make you sit up and feel, be it indignation or rage. Kudos to the author for provoking so many emotions. I also wanna make note that there were no weak, feebleminded female characters. All the ladies were tough as balls and that was super-refreshing.

 

Arenson certainly pulls no punches when it comes to violence and gore, but it all fit well within the story and wasn't overdone in any way. It was perfectly suited to my tastes. I like my stories gritty and dirty and there is much grit to these interwoven stories. The oppression and injustices affected me tremendously.

 

There were only a couple of things that put me off slightly. As I mentioned, I found Koyee's POV in the beginning to be very dull. I wanted to tear my hair out. Though it did become interesting, it made it hard to get into the book at first. I know this is typical for Fantasy, but personally, I like a faster pace. The other POV's were great, but I felt like the story nearly stopped when it would switch to her. Thankfully, it was short-lived.

 

The other thing that threw me off was that same character at the end. She kept yelling out these melodramatic battle cries reminiscent of Lionheart, but cheesy instead. It really took me out of the intensity of the story. Everything had come to a head and there was Koyee, yelling out corny warrior cries. I forgave her, because the girl has heart, but I wanted to shake her.

 

Despite these couple of things, I really enjoyed Moth. For the most part, I was riveted and found myself rushing to get back to it whenever I would put it down. That doesn't happen to me often anymore, so this was definitely a treat.

 

Be forewarned, this is the first in a series and for that I'm glad. Though it didn't end on a cliffhanger, there were a lot of loose ends and I can't wait to see where Arenson takes these characters next.

 

 

 

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?