The Invention Of Wings: A Novel

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The Invention Of Wings: A Novel

by Sue Monk Kidd

Viking Adult | January 7, 2014 | Hardcover

4.75 out of 5 rating. 20 Reviews
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From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women
 
 Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world—and it is now the newest Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selection.

Hetty “Handful" Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke's daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd's sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other's destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women's rights movements.

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful's cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.

This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.
 

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 384 pages, 9.58 × 6.39 × 1.23 in

Published: January 7, 2014

Publisher: Viking Adult

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670024783

ISBN - 13: 9780670024780

What is it like to be a slave? And what is it like for a morally conscious young woman to live in a society built around the evil of slavery? These are the pivotal questions which inspire the Invention of Wings - the beautiful and tender new novel by Sue Monk Kidd. Since her first novel, The Secret Life of Bees, it’s been clear that Kidd is a major talent. With The Invention of Wings, Kidd takes her storytelling to a new level. The Invention of Wings orbits two defiant women in South Carolina at the beginning of the nineteenth century: Handful, a slave, and Sarah, the favourite daughter of a plantation owner, modeled on the real life abolitionist Sarah Grimké. From the outset when Sarah is given Handful as a birthday present, we are compelled by their impossible friendship, and the horrific institution that brings them together. With Kidd’s deftness The Invention of Wings manages to be both hopeful and heartbreaking, full of petty cruelty and small kindnesses, and in the end an inspiring testament to the heroism of two extraordinary women.

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– More About This Product –

The Invention Of Wings: A Novel

by Sue Monk Kidd

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 384 pages, 9.58 × 6.39 × 1.23 in

Published: January 7, 2014

Publisher: Viking Adult

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670024783

ISBN - 13: 9780670024780

From the Publisher

From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women
 
 Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world—and it is now the newest Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selection.

Hetty “Handful" Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke's daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd's sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other's destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women's rights movements.

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful's cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.

This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.
 

About the Author

Sue Monk Kidd is the award-winning and bestselling author of the novels The Secret Life of Bees  and The Mermaid Chair. She is also the author of several acclaimed memoirs, including the New York Times bestseller Traveling with Pomegranates, written with her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor. She lives in Florida.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Invention of Wings “A remarkable novel that heightened my sense of what it meant to be a woman - slave or free. . .will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to find her power and her voice. . .Sue Monk Kidd has written a conversation changer.  It is impossible to read this book and not come away thinking differently about our status as women and about all the unsung heroines who played a role in getting us to where we are." —Oprah Winfrey, O The Oprah Magazine   “Alternating between Sarah’s and Handful’s contrasting perspectives on their oddly conjoined worlds allows Kidd to generate unstoppable narrative momentum as she explores the troubled terrain that lies between white and black women in a slaveholding society. . ..the novel’s language can be as exhilarating as its powerful story. . .by humanizing these formidable women, The Invention of Wings furthers our essential understanding of what has happened among us as Americans – and why it still matters.” —Margaret Wrinkle, The Washington Post                                                                     &#
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