The Invention of Wings (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


I absolutely loved this book. Listening to it on audio with the two main characters, Sarah & Hettie, being read by two different people added a lot to the story. Sue Monk Kidd set out to tell the story of two real-life women Sarah Grimke & Angelina Grimke who were the first women to speak out against slavery and for women's rights, but she spins a fictional story including a slave named Hettie. She discusses slavery from the point of view of a slave and a woman who doesn't have many more rights than the slaves do. Very interesting story and I really liked the authors note at the end which describes the actual story of the Grimke sisters. Highly suggest it! -Madison

— From Madison's Current Favorites

January 2014 Indie Next List


“Kidd gives us an outstanding view into the lives of two women whose reaction to slavery is the same - it must not continue. Loosely based on real-life abolitionist and women's rights activist Sarah Grimke, The Invention of Wings reveals how an intelligent woman of privilege was just as much a prisoner of her times as the slave girl, Hetty, who was given to Sarah as a birthday gift when she was 11 years old. Kidd juxtaposes the lives of these two women to show how each became an activist and how they eventually helped each other escape the claws of the South that wanted to destroy them. This is a splendid tale that will reaffirm the injustices of slavery and will open some eyes to how women were treated in the 1800s. As always, Kidd offers rich, well-developed characters that readers think about long after the book is closed.”
— Lynn Pellerito Riehl, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Description


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.

About the Author


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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780143121701
ISBN-10: 0143121707
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Pages: 384
Language: English