The Invention of Wings: A Novel (Original Publisher's Edition-No Annotations)

· Sold by Penguin
200 reviews

About this ebook

From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees and the forthcoming novel The Book of Longings, a 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.

200 reviews
Angel Barber
January 18, 2014
My heart swelled, broke and mended while reading this book. I can only imagine living in a world that allowed having ownership of another human being. What brave women ALL these ladies were. God surely blessed them in heaven!!
6 people found this review helpful
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Amber Sandner
April 19, 2014
The details and storyline keeps you intrigued and hanging on for only about 100 pages from the end and cant put it down, however i hate to reach the end too fast because i dont want the novel to end for me yet!!!
5 people found this review helpful
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Susana Mata
March 25, 2014
A wonderful, thoughtful story about two women. During this time slaves lived a a desperate, tortuous life filled with degradation and inhumane treatment. White women of the south also suffered because they were not allowed to aspire anything. In some ways both slaves and women were imprisoned and treated as second class citizens.A story of bravery!
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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.

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