More titles to consider

Shopping Cart

You're getting the VIP treatment!

With the purchase of Kobo VIP Membership, you're getting 10% off and 2x Kobo Super Points on eligible items.

itemsitem
See your RECOMMENDATIONS

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.

Book Reviews

The Invention of Wings
Average rating
4.2 / 5
A great read!
November 3rd, 2015
I read this as a book club choice and loved it. I had read The Secret Life of Bees by the same author and really liked it. This book takes you back to the historical time of slavery and the disagreements on it between the North and the South. Loved it!
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Not another slavery book.
October 4th, 2015
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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Finding freedom
August 25th, 2015
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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Interesting and engaging
August 10th, 2015
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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Invention of Wings
November 9th, 2014
Thought provoking and a hard, heart breaking read reminder of history.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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...
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Invention of Wings
July 30th, 2014
Very informative book, giving the reader a real feel for how slaves truly were treated.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Invention of Wings
July 22nd, 2014
Inspiring, page turning, it's lessons and characters will stay with me.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Sue Monk Kidd doesn't disappoint!
June 24th, 2014
Once again a brilliant storey. She creates characters you think of as friends and remember for years to come.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Invention of Wings
June 6th, 2014
Excellent book, well written, hard to put down.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
2 of 4 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.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

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
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Loved it
April 29th, 2014
What a story. I will miss the characters.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Invention of Wings
April 25th, 2014
Just finished this; great read. Historical fiction combining fascinating facts with a great imagination.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Invention of Wings
April 18th, 2014
If you were moved by 12 Years a Slave, this book will also leave you speechless.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
A definite read....
April 7th, 2014
Keeping it short and sweet - READ THIS BOOK! One of the best I've read in ages. Sarah and Handful will stay with me for quite some time.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Invention of Wings
April 4th, 2014
Beautifully written, heart wrenching story.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Wonderful!
March 25th, 2014
This is my favorite read so far this year.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Invention of Wings
March 16th, 2014
A must read, "The Invention of Wings", by Sue Monk Kidd, a remarkable story of two sisters and one of their slaves, factually based on their quest to abolish slavery much before acceptance of the cause.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
It's somewhat of a true story...
March 14th, 2014
I find it fascinating and sad, but this was a very good read! I didn't know a lot of it was historically accurate so that makes it almost better. Great read & I would recommend:)
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The invention of wings
March 11th, 2014
Enjoyed very much. Could not put the book down,so sad the abuse endured by the slaves.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The invention of wings
February 27th, 2014
A remarkable story of strength courage in times of slavery.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Good dead
February 23rd, 2014
Good read. Hard to put down.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Invention of Wings
February 21st, 2014
Love, love, love this book by Sue Monk Kidd.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
February 21st, 2014
Absolutely loved this book. Now that I have finished it I miss the two main characters. One of those books that I couldn't put down.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Invention of Wings
February 16th, 2014
A wonderful story. I highly recommend!
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The invention of wings
February 8th, 2014
Loved that this book is based on a real person, but it did drag on at times.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Invention of Wings
January 30th, 2014
Wow! One of the best reads in a long time. Beautiful character building Malden each person real and distinct. Good work, Sue!
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The invention of wings
January 28th, 2014
Such a fabulous book. So well written, intriguing, a wonderful historic story and I must say one of the best books I ever read. Thanks to Sue Monk Kidd for writing it.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The invention of wings
January 24th, 2014
I completely enjoyed and savoured this book, though a novel, it portrays the underpinning of our search for truth, our call, and we all can make a difference. The quote from the Book of Ruth, filled me with memories!
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
January 24th, 2014
I couldn't put this book down as the characters and their developments were captivating. I learned a lot about slavery and the beginnings of its abolition. I also got a sense of how difficult it was to be a woman at that time and became immersed in both struggles
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
January 23rd, 2014
This was a great read! I loved the parallels between the two main characters. I couldn't put the book down as I wanted to see what was going to happen next and was a little sad when it ended. Thought provoking & emotional at times as it is anguishing to know people were treated so badly.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
January 23rd, 2014
In "The Invention of Wings", author Sue Monk Kidd has deftly blended fact and fiction to create a compelling novel. Two themes run through the book. The first is Sarah’s abhorrence of slavery and the second is the place of women within society at the time and Sarah’s dislike of restrictions placed upon her as a female. As a child, Sarah was aware that her education was inferior to that of her brothers; she and her sisters were taught by private tutors and only studied subjects deemed appropriate for young women at that time. She wanted to become a lawyer like her father but that was considered unacceptable for women in the early 19th century. Sarah’s early experiences, well described in The Invention of Wings, helped shape her future as an abolitionist, feminist and writer. The story is told in alternate voices, that of Sarah and that of Hetty (aka “Handful”), one of the family’s slaves. At the beginning of the book, Handful and her mother Charlotte, a slave who functions as the Grimkes’ seamstress, live together in slave quarters over the stable. Sarah’s parents give Handful (then age ten) to her as a gift for her eleventh birthday, to be Sarah’s personal maid. Even at this age, Sarah is repulsed by slavery, remembering that at age four she witnessed a slave being whipped, and she refuses this gift. Mrs. Grimke is shocked by Sarah’s “alien” ways; she believes that slavery is part of “their tradition”. Sarah’s attempts to grant Handful her freedom but that attempt fails, and when she encounters Charlotte she tells her that she tried to free Handful; hearing this, Charlotte makes Sarah promise that some day she will help Handful gain her freedom . . . This covenant between Sarah and Charlotte deeply affects Sarah, and she and Handful develop an unlikely friendship. And so the story moves on . . . This is a riveting one which holds the reader's attention from the beginning to end. *********** Sarah and her younger sister Angelina Grimke Weld eventually moved north and became well known abolitionists; they were also among the earliest women to fight for women’s rights in the United States. For background on their true story, visit: www.africanamericancharleston.com www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/youngandbrave/asgrimke.html www.ocp.hul.harvard.edu/ww/grimke.html www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1372164/Grimke-sisters
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The invention of Wings
January 23rd, 2014
An incredible story. Just beautiful.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Invention of Wings
January 23rd, 2014
This book was amazing. The author pulls you into the lives of these two amazing strong sisters. Upon finishing this novel I am inspired to learn more of american and Canadian history regarding slavery and the laws around it. The horrific lives these men and women were forced to live in. We wouldn't even treat any animal in this way. And to think this was allowed for so many years. What am amazing gift Sue Monk Kidd had for telling this story is such a way that you feel you are in the shoes of the characters.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Fascinating history
January 20th, 2014
Sue Monk Kidd delivered another fascinating story based on history. The characters were believable and easy to become engrossed in their lives. So pleased that slavery was abolished and to see the gains the people have made to bring equality to all.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
January 16th, 2014
A beautiful and heart opening portrayal of things we try not to think about, for fear we cannot endure the agony of truth.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Great Read
January 11th, 2014
I am a fan of Sue Monk Kidd's books. I think this May be one of her best. I could not put it down. I highly recommend this book.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
January 9th, 2014
Another wonderful story penned by a tremendously intuitive author. Sue Monk Kidd captures our hearts with the story of Handful---a young slave and the journey she endures growing up in the South. Sue paints such a vivid portraiture of each character that it's difficult not to want to just read and read til the book was finished. I enjoyed it immensely and my initial reaction----that this would be 'yet another twist on the well written The Help' I was proven wrong.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices:

  • DESKTOP
  • eREADERS
  • TABLETS
  • IOS
  • ANDROID
  • BLACKBERRY
  • WINDOWS