The Invention of Wings

Kidd, Sue Monk

(Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Invention of Wings
"The story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. "The Invention of Wings" follows the next thirty-five years of their lives. Inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist), Kidd allows herself to go beyond the record to flesh out the inner lives of all the characters, both real and imagined"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Viking,, 2014
ISBN: 9780670024780
Characteristics: 373 pages ; 25 cm


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can you please email when the book is available @ burns.desiree@yahoo.com

Nov 09, 2014
  • LaughingOne rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Sue Monk Kidd has outdone herself. Author of “The Secret Life of Bees” and “The Mermaid’s Chair”, Kidd has written a novel about Sarah and Angelina Grimke and their work to end slavery. The novel is also about two of the slaves in the Grimke household, Charlotte and her daughter Hettie (Handful). The Author’s Note at the end of the book lets us know that most of the novel is based on historical fact; in my opinion, that makes the book even stronger. Sarah does not fit the image of a proper girl in Charleston: she wants to be a lawyer like her father and two brothers, she does not want to own the slave that is given to her on her 11th birthday (Hettie). Read this novel to see what all happens to all these women, as well as the abolitionist movement, with its Quaker involvement, the early days of the suffrage movement in the US, and much more. Even though I knew about the Grimke sisters and much of what they had done, I could not put this novel down. I lived with them vicariously and cried and rejoiced with them. This is definitely one of my favourite reads.

Jumping back and forth between the two main characters thoughts was, at first, disruptive because the chapters are quite short but, the story line which describes the physical restrictions and social expectations of several women on a southern plantation and their moral and ethical beliefs, successfully pulls in the reader with their life's directions despite injury and death.

Oct 14, 2014
  • 21221018293347 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great novel of an interesting time in history. Ms. Kidd weaves an intricate story. What amazed me was the author's notes at the end of the book, the resources and research that she had done. The story is based on the lives of the two Grimke sisters. Marvellous the story quilts made by Handful and her mother.

Sep 20, 2014
  • sasie rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A well written story. Something to lose yourself in for a weekend.

Sep 01, 2014
  • Tomkitty1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I agree with comment made by "Freedomfor". I just loved this book. Well written.

Aug 25, 2014
  • freedomforj rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book was an emotional roller coaster for me. I loved it. I was consumed by this book until I finished it and then I thought about it for days.

Aug 23, 2014
  • writermala rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Once I started reading this book I could not stop till I'd finished reading every word, including the Author's Note. Not surprisingly Kidd says she was inspired by the words of Professor Julius Lester that "History is not just facts and events. History is also a pain in the heart and we repeat history until we are able to make another's pain in the heart our own." Indeed the author has helped all her readers make one particular pain their own. In the telling of "The invention of wings," Kidd uses Sarah Grimke and Handful as narrators and the story begins appropriately with Sarah receiving Handful as a "gift" on her eleventh Birthday! The fact that Sarah does not want a "slave" as her own personal maid is of no consequence. Handful makes the astute observation, that she is not sure if Sarah's feelings for her are love or guilt and indeed Sarah feels a measure of both. Handful also wonders if what she feels for Sarah is love or a way to be safe! Once Sarah's younger sister Angelina is on the scene the dynamics change and Angelina is even more spirited in her speaking for Abolition and Women's rights. Angelina complements Sarah in every way and together they rewrite history. As Sarah says "Nina was one wing I was the other." Yes, these two brave sisters invented wings and soared!

Aug 23, 2014
  • olemissann rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Terrific book! I enjoyed it so much that I did not want it to end. Very well written with excellent character development and vivid descriptions of this time in our history.

Aug 11, 2014
  • madison382 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Really good book, could not put it down.

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app11 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52