The Invention of Wings

The Invention of Wings

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.

Title:The Invention of Wings
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780670024780
Format Type:

    The Invention of Wings Reviews

  • Lori

    A must read! I found this to be one of the most powerful novels I've read... I'm from South Carolina and I love Charleston but not always her history. Im very sad that the courageousness of the Grimke...

  • Angela M

    We think that we know something about the atrocities of slavery because we learned about it in American history class, or we saw glimpses of it in a movie or a book. But it isn't until we confront a ...

  • Sally

    I don't know how the book I read can be the same that has received 4 and 5 stars. I found the book to be mediocre at best. With very little character development the book is shallow. I felt nothing fo...

  • Donna

    Audiobooks have been my preferred reading format for about 5 years now, and I probably listen to at least 30 audiobooks a year, but it is rare that I come across an audio so beautifully narrated and a...

  • Debra

    Such an amazing book. I loved every page of it! This book was amazing. I love books that make one think and feel and this book did both. Parts were inspiring, parts were devastating, disturbing, etc. ...

  • Patrice Hoffman

    Sue Monk Kidd is the bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees so it's no surprise that she's back on the scene with an Oprah approved title. The Invention of Wings, similar to it's Bees, takes pl...

  • Britany

    I was not expecting this book to grab my heartstrings and pull the way that it did. It was unexpected, fresh, and interesting. I literally read this book in two sittings, and wasn't ready for it to en...

  • B the BookAddict

    This is a book whose topic is one which makes me feel supremely uncomfortable; slavery. Usually, I avoid books like this, they make me feel wretched and sad; tethered as I am here in 2014 and utterly ...

  • Tadiana ?Night Owl?

    $1.99 Kindle sale, Sept. 6, 2018. A strong 4 stars. This is a semi-factual novelization of the life of Sarah Grimke, an actual abolitionist and women's rights advocate born in Charleston, S.C. in the ...

  • Diane S ?

    Where to start in trying to explain all the amazing things this novel contained. It is powerful, intense, profound and amazing in every way. The real lifeGremke sisters, born into a family of wealth, ...