The Invention of Wings: A Novel (Original Publisher's Edition-No Annotations)

by Sue Monk Kidd

Penguin Publishing Group | January 7, 2014 | Kobo Edition (eBook)

The Invention of Wings: A Novel (Original Publisher's Edition-No Annotations) is rated 5 out of 5 by 2.
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.

Please note there is another digital edition available featuring notes by Oprah Winfrey.

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: January 7, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0698152425

ISBN - 13: 9780698152427

Found in: Fiction and Literature
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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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing story! On the occasion of her eleventh birthday Sarah Grimke was given a special (in her mother’s eyes) gift … she was gifted with 10 year-old Hetty – her own slave. Sarah was already the outcast in the family because her hair was too red and unruly, she stammered when she spoke, she had life ambitions and even at eleven knew deep down inside that owning another person was wrong. She tried to return her gift without success and even tried to free Hetty, but all to no avail. Although she knew it would make her life considerably easier than being in the plantation’s fields Hetty, or Handful as her mother named her, was no less eager to be Miss Sarah’s slave. Sarah makes a promise to Hetty’s mother to one day free her. A promise made with the best intentions but one that would prove very difficult to keep. Because of the closeness in their ages, Hetty and Sarah became friends of a sort. Sarah even went so far as to teach Hetty how to read and write, an effort eventually discovered and duly punished. When Sarah’s sister Angelina was born it began to look like Sarah finally had someone at home to love and who loved her. This was a bond that never faltered or broke throughout their whole lives. Accompanying her father north to seek medical attention for his lingering illness Sarah discovers a different way of life and a manner of thinking about the slave issue which mirrors her own. A shipboard friendship with a young Quaker man opens up a whole new world for her … a world that dares to value the ideas of women. With strong wills and a series of happenstances Angelina and Sarah become the first and most forceful women’s voices in the abolitionist movement in the mid 1800’s. Holding up her own end of the fight for freedom back in Charleston Hetty makes some pretty brave decisions of her own. This book is populated with both fictional and real historical figures. Some of the names were familiar to me and some were not. Ms. Kidd has done her research well to bring both Sarah and Angelina to life in this book. She has used actual quotes from letters and speeches in her dialogue and kept fairly true to the timeline of events that marked the lives of these two incredible sisters. Although many of the slave’s stories were also taken from historical documents and woven brilliantly into this book, I was disappointed to learn that Hetty and her mother, Charlotte, were totally fictional. Ms. Kidd did such an excellent job in writing their voices that I came to admire both of them. I particularly loved Charlotte. Charlotte epitomized the power of the human spirit and a mother's determination. Ms. Kidd does such a remarkable job with her characters that, even though I wanted to, I couldn’t even completely dislike the matriarch of the family, Mrs. Grimke. She was a simply a product of her times and social class. The story is told in the alternating voices of Hetty and Sarah. This works so well in this book as it gives the reader perspective from both sides of the slave issue. Sometimes the telling runs parallel but mostly each girl moves the story ahead. I had no problem what-so-ever following along between the two voices. Sarah (1972 – 1873) and Angelina Grimke (1805 – 1879) were indeed real women who took a stand against slavery. Sarah Grimke was the first woman to publish pamphlets and speak publicly against the issue and her “American Slavery” article influenced the writing of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. I listened to the audio version of the book and feel that I should mention and commend the readers in this review as well. Jenna Lamia (also heard on the audio version of “The Help”) and Adepero Oduye brilliantly brought the characters to life.
Date published: 2014-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Invention of Wings I am reading it at the moment and I am really enjoying it....a good read !!
Date published: 2014-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well done I really enjoyed this book, it robbed me of a few hours sleep but well worth it.
Date published: 2014-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You don't want to put it down I bought this book due to a spontaneous burst since i spent about an hour in the bookstore and haven't found much of what i liked, I have just picked up reading again and the great gatsby and this book has made me fall in love with reading all over again. I fell in love with the book right from the start, the fact that it showed heart and empathy in a time where you would think that white people wouldn't have much respect for coloured people made my heart dance. It was so hard to put down, and it's so well written my imagination went wild and it played out like a movie... which I do hope that it turns into a movie! 
Date published: 2014-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent story. I have recommended it to my friends. For a book club, the perfect book that will keep you talking for quite awhile. Will probably read some of her other books now.
Date published: 2014-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read Hated to put this one down. Personally liked Charlotte's little acts of rebellion.
Date published: 2014-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Invention of Wings I received this book as a Valentines present and read it in 6 days. I was completely engrossed in the sisters and their challenges. I so highly recommend this book to others and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Excellent read!
Date published: 2014-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down.... I have read several of her books and this is EXCELLENT!! I couldn't put it down. Each character was so unique and described so well, and the storyline dovetailed beautifully with each character. Fiction story based on non-fiction characters.....in my opinion it wasn't 'non-fiction' - if you are interested in history, business, the women's movement, abolition, relationships, Nth vs Sth society, it all intertwines....highly recommended!!!!
Date published: 2014-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I expected to love this book --- and I did! I loved The Secret Life of Bees, so I expected to love this book as well.  And it exceeded my expectations.  I found it interesting that Sarah was actually a real person - and I knew nothing about her - and Hettie/Handful was probably real, except that almost nothing was known of her, so her story is fictionalized.  I am sure I will read this again and recommend it for my book club.
Date published: 2014-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved the characters - strong! What a delightful read! I also liked at the end that the author explained the who,why and how she wrote the book.
Date published: 2014-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Invention of Wings great book, would recommend for everyone to read. I love historical fiction and especially stories of slavery and emancipation. Very fast paced and interesting book.
Date published: 2014-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sad story! Inspiring but a little sad! Makes me realize how far women have really come in the last few years! And makes you want to fight to keep those rights!
Date published: 2014-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sue Monk Kidd takes her storytelling to a new level! 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.
Date published: 2014-01-22

– More About This Product –

The Invention of Wings: A Novel (Original Publisher's Edition-No Annotations)

by Sue Monk Kidd

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: January 7, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0698152425

ISBN - 13: 9780698152427

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.

Please note there is another digital edition available featuring notes by Oprah Winfrey.