Saturday, January 25, 2014

Two Historical Fiction Reads

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

I was wary about reading this, since her last book "The Mermaid Chair", was such a flop.  I was hoping this was more on the level of "The Secret Life of Bees".  I was happy that I took the chance.

This story alternates between Hattie (Handful) a slave and Sarah Grimk√© , the daughter of a slave owner.  We watch both of these ladies grow from very young girls to mature women.  Handful is Sarah's slave.  Sarah does not want this, but as a young girl, she has no say.  Her father, who is a lawyer and judge, keeps Sarah from following in his footsteps.  We go through their lives, together and apart, and watch how they both 'sprout wings' and fly.

This type of Historical Fiction is Kidd's specialty.  Based on a true story, this telling is very compelling. 

This is an Oprah Book Club pick.  I usually read her picks, I've not been disappointed on the new books she brings to my attention.

News From Heaven by Jennifer Haigh

"News From Heaven: The Bakerton Stories" is a collection of short stories by the author of the novel "Faith." Most of these stories take place between the 1920s through the second World War. It revolves around a town in Pennsylvania called Bakerton (a mining town).  The town's population is overwhelmingly Polish.  A few of these stories deal with the Polish Christian and the Jewish people they have contact with.  One of my favorite stories is the first one. "Beast and Bird" is a story about a young Polish woman who goes to work as a maid for a Jewish couple in New York City.  However, all of the stories are very well written and interesting.


Michelle Miller said...

I was sent the Sue Monk Kidd book by the publisher, but haven't got around to it yet. I'm glad that it's not disappointing like The Mermaid Chair. Hated that one!

Great reviews, Liz!

Liz Kelso said...