The Invention Of Wings: A Novel by Sue Monk KiddThe Invention Of Wings: A Novel by Sue Monk Kiddsticker-burst

The Invention Of Wings: A Novel

bySue Monk Kidd

Paperback | May 5, 2015

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From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a #1 New York Times bestselling 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.

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.

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.
Title:The Invention Of Wings: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 7.8 × 5.2 × 0.7 inPublished:May 5, 2015Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143121707

ISBN - 13:9780143121701

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from A lovely story A heart wrenching story that will not leave you untouched.
Date published: 2017-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful The story of two girls, both constrained by their lives, but who ultimately risk so much to grow into extraordinary and inspirational women.
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed this book A well written story about strong female characters in a historical setting of the south during the time of slavery.
Date published: 2017-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! One of my favourite books of year and now one of my favourite authors. Just amazing characters and storyline, couldnt put it down!
Date published: 2017-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this! I loved this book so much. It was written in such a neat way. The storytelling is so on point. It was so touching.
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Interesting! Such an interesting read about several influential women!
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked this Good story in a historical setting
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved Good storyline, loved the characters. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not too good It is very long and is lagging on a lot. I didn't like the story, cause it's cliche and not too exciting. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this This book was fantastic. I really enjoyed it
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from not impressed while I can see where the author was trying to go with this, i really found that it favoured Sarah (the white girl) and her perspective, whereas I think it would have been much more interesting if the perspectives were more balanced between both main characters.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not another slavery book. An interesting account of how women, black and white, expressed their desire to be free to speak their minds and support each other , whether for equality and-or freedom from enslavement. Very well written, and entertaining.
Date published: 2015-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Finding freedom Although this story was based on some true facts, the details of the writer were very interesting and could have been true to life. Makes you think of the whole idea of slavery, human rights, equality for all no matter your sexual gender, where we have come from and where we are going. No matter how much things change they seem to stay the same. A very well written, well researched and attention getting book. I very much enjoyed it.
Date published: 2015-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting and engaging I did not realize until the end of the book,that a lot of the main characters were not fictitious. A lot of great history telling.
Date published: 2015-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Invention of wings This is an excellent story of the struggles that women ..both white and slave experienced in 1800, their courage to fight for what was right is inspirational. I loved both Sara and Handful.
Date published: 2015-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great story! I loved this book. It was not only a great story but also the history behind it was enlightening. It shows that even today there are problems with the black population that continue to exist. Racial biases continue. Women continue to be suppressed. It is hard to imagine if equality will ever come. I recommend this book.
Date published: 2015-05-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this book Loved the way in which this book was written. Loved the characters. Kept me wanting to know what would happen next. I was sorry to reach the end.
Date published: 2015-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Invention of Wings Based upon the lives of Sarah and her sister Angelina Grimke, who lived in Charleston and were daughters of slave owners. They became abolitionists who fought for freedom of slaves. This is an accounting of life as they knew it and their courage in writing and lecturing about the plight of the slaves and the necessity to end slavery.
Date published: 2015-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Invention of Wings The second novel from the author of the Secret Lives of Bees does not disappoint. I had trouble putting this one down. It is the fact based story of a Southern Carolina girl and the relationship she has with a slave who was given to her for her eleventh birthday. I also details her and her sister's journey from plantation culture to being the first women to speak out for abolition - and women's rights. Some things told in the novel are not factual, or at least not provable, which the author freely admits, but the general theme and many of the characters are real. Fascinating read.
Date published: 2015-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The invention of wings Absorbing, moving and thought provoking. The book explores the multiple levels of capivity. To be female and a slave was the truest and most complete level of captivity.
Date published: 2015-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing accuracy. I really enjoyed this book. It was a good interpretation of the treatment of slaves in America. Very sad but it is very real.
Date published: 2014-12-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Invention of Wings Thought provoking and a hard, heart breaking read reminder of history.
Date published: 2014-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Invention of Wings Oh how I have missed the amazing writing of Sue Monk Kidd!!! What a pleasure this book was, despite the difficult topic! To be hurled to one of my favorite places on this earth and fully immersed in such a dynamic story full of such interesting characters and interpersonal relationships was a treat that was long over due. So now comes the grieving that accompanies the end of these amazing voyages...
Date published: 2014-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great, moving novel! Can't help but remember another great novel that also touches on slavery - discrimination, "The Help". I think I gave that book 5 stars. But then, I think this novel is at least a star higher... it touches on another heavy theme, that is, women's rights. It must have been very difficult living during those times. This is a serious read.
Date published: 2014-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Invention of Wings Very informative book, giving the reader a real feel for how slaves truly were treated.
Date published: 2014-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Invention of Wings Inspiring, page turning, it's lessons and characters will stay with me.
Date published: 2014-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sue Monk Kidd has Surpassed Herself I took my time reading this book because it is a book that deserves the savoring and the digesting before moving forward. A delicious evocation of a time past but about three women in particular, who are very modern in their thinking.
Date published: 2014-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thankful for freedom Excellent book, I highly recommend it. I particularly appreciated the role that appliqué and quilts played in the story. What a privilege it is to enjoy equality and freedom and how thankful we should be for the brave women and men who fought for it.
Date published: 2014-06-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sue Monk Kidd doesn't disappoint! Once again a brilliant storey. She creates characters you think of as friends and remember for years to come.
Date published: 2014-06-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Kobo is not good I am upset that I ordered this book online through Kobo and did not get a down load
Date published: 2014-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing An amazing eye-opening book about the hardships of being a black slave in the 1800's, and also how life was lived before many great inventions. I loved handful and Sarah's relationship, it was truly heartwarming.
Date published: 2014-06-14
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

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 . .  a conversation changer.” – Oprah Winfrey, O, The Oprah Magazine   “Exhilarating. . .powerful. . .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.” – The Washington Post   “A textured masterpiece, quietly yet powerfully poking our consciences and our consciousness . . . leaves us feeling uplifted and hopeful.” – NPR   “A searing and soaring story of two women bound together as mistress and slave.” – USA Today   “Kidd has managed to avoid both condescension and cliché, creating an unforgettable character in the slave Handful, the emotional core of her utterly engaging third novel.” – The Boston Globe                                                                                                 “If this isn’t an American classic-to-be, I don’t know what is. . .this book is as close to perfect as any I’ve ever read.” – The Dallas Morning News                                                                                 “A powerful story of rebellion and heroism. . .The remarkable courage and hope found in The Invention of Wings is a reminder that we all have those wings – and tells us a lot more about how we got them.” – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution                                                                                “Kidd has done a marvelous job of capturing two special and vibrant voices. . . I can’t recall reading a book about slavery that presented in such vivid and heartbreaking detail just what the daily life and labor felt like.” – The Minneapolis Star Tribune                                                                        “A total revelation. . .the book is balanced by two extraordinary women:  real-life abolitionist and feminist Sarah Grimké and the imagined handmaiden Handful, who nearly leaps off every page.” – Patrick Bass, Essence