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Synopsis

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.

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CUSTOMER REVIEWS

The Invention of Wings
Average rating
4.2 / 5
Invention of wings
July 17th, 2015
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.
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1 review
A great story!
May 20th, 2015
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.
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1 review
Loved this book
February 13th, 2015
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.
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1 review
The Invention of Wings
February 10th, 2015
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.
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1 review
The Invention of Wings
February 3rd, 2015
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.
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1 review
The invention of wings
January 18th, 2015
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.
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1 review
Amazing accuracy.
December 9th, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. It was a good interpretation of the treatment of slaves in America. Very sad but it is very real.
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1 review
The Invention of Wings
November 9th, 2014
Thought provoking and a hard, heart breaking read reminder of history.
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1 review
The Invention of Wings
October 5th, 2014
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...
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1 review
Great, moving novel!
September 29th, 2014
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.
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1 review
The Invention of Wings
July 30th, 2014
Very informative book, giving the reader a real feel for how slaves truly were treated.
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1 review
Sue Monk Kidd has Surpassed Herself
July 9th, 2014
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.
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1 review
Thankful for freedom
June 25th, 2014
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.
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1 review
Kobo is not good
June 18th, 2014
I am upset that I ordered this book online through Kobo and did not get a down load
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1 review
Amazing
June 14th, 2014
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.
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1 review
The Invention of Wings
June 6th, 2014
Excellent book, well written, hard to put down.
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1 review
1 of 2 people found this helpful
Education woven into a lovely tale
June 4th, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In the closing credit Sue Monk Kidd reveals which parts of the history are accurate and which ones she wove. In any case, the story reveals a time of slavery and the moment when two sisters said " enough". They put themselves in harms way for the sake of Equality, justice and women's rights. What a wonderful legacy. Thank you Sue Monk Kidd for bringing it to us.
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2 reviews
Education woven into a lovely tale
June 4th, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In the closing credit Sue Monk Kidd reveals which parts of the history are accurate and which ones she wove. In any case, the story reveals a time of slavery and the moment when two sisters said " enough". They put themselves in harms way for the sake of Equality, justice and women's rights. What a wonderful legacy. Thank you Sue Monk Kidd for bringing it to us.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

2 reviews
The invention of wings
May 11th, 2014
The story of Sarah and Handful. Slavery and the struggle toward abolishing slavery
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1 review
Loved it
April 29th, 2014
What a story. I will miss the characters.
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1 review

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