I read this book around 10 years ago when I was 12 or 13. I remember my entire world being consumed by girls who grew wings. For two years I had the same reoccurring dream about flying. I forced it out of me by writing; an entire novel came out of that dream. Even though I forgot the name of the book as I grew older, I remembered how it had touched me.
Every night Linnet’s mother touches between her should blades. It isn’t a kind, motherly caress, it is like she is taking Linnet’s temperature. Checking for something. Finally Linnet learns why: she is growing wings, like her mother did when she was young. There are two ways she can deal with her wings. One, have her mother cut off her wings and become a Cutwing, or disappear.
Linnet’s grandmother takes her to a special place with people like her. Although they are not many, just a house full of people, they become Linnet’s new family. With them she learns how to deal with having wings and how to fly.
Growing Wings caters to a young audience by being simplistic, but not childish. The children, the adults, all are written beautifully, but believably. It is the difference between characters and characterization.
There is very little in the way of romance, which makes sense. Linnet is 11. She doesn’t need some insane YA love triangle! Instead, a strong mother-daughter relationship pulls the book forward. Laurel Winter explores relationships though several mother-daughter teams as she examines how the growing of wings changes or exacerbates their relationship dynamics.
Favorite (worst) part: Linnet’s mother tells her what happened to her wings… Her mother gave her alcohol, tied her to a table, and sawed off her wings. Its chilling and creepy; I could see it happening vividly.
Growing Wings deserves five stars. This book, even examining it at my age, is beautiful and touching. It is just a lovely little story. I highly recommend reading it.