The House Girl & The Invention of Wings

Book Pairing

The House Girl   The Invention of Wings

The topic of slavery is where these two novels meet.  The other theme that joins these books together is the heritage of a people, through art.  In the first story, a lawyer from present day is given a case that deals with the inheritance of big money coming from paintings that were originally made by a slave but the credit was given to the slave’s owner.  We do go back to the past, where we learn about this particular slave (Josephine) and what she endures.  We see the relationship with her owners, the discovery of her artistic talents and the hardships she experiences from trying to escape while being pregnant.  In the second tale, there are real-life characters who take part in the plot.  Sarah is given a slave, named Handful, for her birthday and this fuels Sarah’s compassion for the future antislavery movements that she becomes involved with as an adult.  Meanwhile, Handful must live as a slave with her mother and together they make quilts, which are beautiful creations of art, providing not only warmth but storytelling as well.  Both slaves are tempted with opportunities to escape and somehow, they end up succeeding.  The novels take place in neighboring states (Virginia and South Carolina, respectively) and help from abolitionists is a key factor for both too.  Heartbreaking, yet uplifting reads.

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