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eBook Sue Monk Kidd ☆ ☆ The Invention of Wings PDF/EPUB ☆ The Invention

Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope daring the uest for freedom and the desire to have a voice in the world—and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 20 selectionHetty “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 womenKidd’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 loveAs 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 unreuited 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 movementsInspired 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 betterThis exuisitely 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


10 thoughts on “The Invention of Wings

  1. says:

    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 Sisters is not well known here Wonderful writting the atrocities of slavery and its affects are so well depicted in the voices of Sarah and Hettie Thank you Sue for sharing this amazing story 5 HUGE stars


  2. says:

    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 depiction of it that seems so real and horrible that we realize how very little we really know of the injustice of slavery Sue Monk Kidd has provided that depiction in this amazing novel In blending fact and fiction she tells the story of Sarah and Angelina Grimke two sisters from Charleston SC who devote their lives to the abolition of slavery and to the women's rights movement in the 1800's It is also the courageous story of Handful Hettyher mother Charlotte and sister Sky slaves to the Grimke family While Kidd in her notes gives details of her research and clarifies what was fact and what was fiction in the novel I loved that one of my favorite parts of the book was true Sarah teaches Handful to read The journey of these courageous children who become courageous women against the odds is a story that will stay with me At the end of the novelin her notes Kidd says she was inspired by the words of Professor Julius Lester which she kept propped on her desk 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 Sarah and Angelina felt that pain and Kidd has helped us imagine a little of that painRather than repeat details of the story hereI will just say that I cannot recommend this book enough For anyone who loved The Secret Life of Bees this novel touch you in the same way and then some


  3. says:

    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 for anyone with the possible exception of Handful Even Charleston a character herself especially in the slave trade was poorly developed This is a missed opportunity as the history coupled with the fictionalized account could have been very good I was sadly disappointed


  4. says:

    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 This is the story of mainly 2 women but also women of note are also in this book as minor characters The novel really begins when an 11 year old daughter of a plantation owner is given a slave for her 11th birthday Well actually the novel begins when Sarah experiences speaking difficulties after seeing a slave whipped at the age of 4 She doesn't know uite what to do or how to act when given a slave for her 11th birthday A slave that although she tries she cannot free Sarah also does not feel free herself she years to do things with her life careers only allowed for men She feels trapped being a woman wanting to do something big and important in her life but being constantly told she cannot because she is femaleHetty Handful” Grimke is the slave whom Sarah is given for her 11th birthday She is also a child and they basically grown up together One a slave and one a slave owner but they share a special bond Through Hetty and her mother Charlotte we learn about the atrocities one legged punishment for example and horrors of slave life and treatment What it is like to be owned by another person What it is like to yearn for freedom to speak your mind and to live your own life but not being able to do so because you belong to another Their Charlotte and Hetty story is heartbreaking and tragic but also tells of strength courage and dignity I love how both Charlotte and HettyHandful constantly push the boundaries in an attempt to live their own lives and to strive for something better The books alternates between Sarah and Hetty's two voices We learn about both of their lives their hopes and their dreams their fears their anxieties and their thoughts on one another We learn about both of their intertwined lives over a 35 year span I love the part in the book and I am paraphrasing where Hetty tells Sarah that her Hetty's body may not be free but her mind is her own and that Sarah's body is free but her mind Sarah's is not her own I know some people did not are for the alternating voices but I loved it I thought it was brilliant and really gave us a glimpse of both women Each of their stories was important and needed to be toldAs the book comes to a close Handful will endure loss grief abuse disfigurement and sorrow but will also learn she is stronger than she thinks Sarah will experience seeing her hopes crushed the inability to obtain her workspiritual goals unreuited love and ostracism from her peers But she also finds strength in herself her spiritual beliefs and in the special bond she shares with the younger sister Nina whom she helped to raise With her sister's help they become some of the first women to speak out against slavery and women's rightsI even loved the footnotes where the Author tells us how the real life story of the Grimke sisters inspired her book Not all of her characters were real some were based on real people but some were invented She does a great job in telling us why she wrote what she did and what liberties she took with their storyRead of my reviews at wwwopenbookpostscom


  5. says:

    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 story so deeply stirring that it leaves me feeling like anything I can say about it will be inadeuate The Invention of Wings was a powerful story of a turbulent time in history and that was conveyed in the brilliant narration by Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye The story alternates points of view from Sarah Grimke and a slave on her parents' plantation named Handful Lamia and Oduye brought the story the people and the places to vivid life I was so immersed in their narration that I felt like I was sitting on the porch of the South Carolina plantation house sipping sweet tea and hoping for a breeze while watching all of this play out I didn't know before reading that The Invention of Wings was based on the true story of Sarah Grimke and her sister Beginning from Grimke's early childhood Wings shows how she struggled to come to terms with a system that she couldn't accept and to somehow find her own place in the world going against all convention and expectations for women in the deep south Handful's story was a glimpse of what life was like for a slave her hopes dreams and many hardships Her story was poignant yet full of life and perseverance The main characters' POV were engrossing but the secondary characters were also complex and compelling In particular Sarah's mother fascinated me It seemed she also struggled with her rigid belief in their way of life and her love for her family as well as what seemed like a bit of jealousy over Sarah's intelligence and courage I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction If you decide to read this get the audio Not only is it one of the best audio narrations I've listened to but I've seen uite a few complaints about the print and ebook version being difficult to read because of notes by Oprah


  6. says:

    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 place in the south and follows the lives of two women Where the two novels differ is that The Invention of Wings takes place during a time in American history when the south wanted nothing than to preserve its lot in the slave trade Sarah Grimke and HettyHandful alternate the narration of this inspiring story Each woman is anxious to find freedom For one that freedom is physical and the other freedom from backwards thinking Sarah is from an aristocratic southern family where her father is a judge on South Carolina's highest court She expects that some day she will be able to walk in his footsteps For her 11th birthday she is given a slave named Hetty The idea of owning someone is preposterous to Sarah even then at a young age after seeing slaves savagely whipped and beaten Although this novel is based off of a true person Handful is a fictional character Sue Monk Kidd uses Handful's story as a slave to juxtapose with Sarah's own feelings of being trapped Handful's story is also emotional than Sarah's This allows readers to get the sentimental intended value without noticing that it lacks somewhat in Sarah Grimke's storyline Although each character experiences loss Handful's story is appallingSue Monk Kidd gives readers a fictionalized account of a woman who is considered a pretty big deal in the Feminist Movement as well as abolitionism Sarah wanted euality for all humans Even during moments when the abolition movement needed traction she would not conform to elders who asked her to only support abolition She felt it was her duty give both eual attention since both topics were of the highest importance to her and she very much believed this was her life's callingI very much enjoyed my first read The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd I even appreciate her providing where she differed from Sarah's true life and where she opted for what would make a better story Kidd's fans will want to read this and the Oprah 20 stamp on the jacket cover won't hurt I recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read an inspiring enthralling narrative covering the life of two very different woman who have one common goal Freedom Copy provided by Viking via Netgalley


  7. says:

    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 end when it did In fact I actually thought I had to read but uickly found out that the author's note was stuck in thereSue Monk Kidd outdid herself with the amount of research she had to do to keep this novel accurate and taking liberties with telling the story of Hetty Handful and Sarah Grimke This novel is about sisters The true sisters Nina Sarah Grimke living in South on a plantation with slaves and the sisterhood that develops between Sarah and Hetty the slave that is given to Sarah on her 11th birthday The journey that Hetty and Sarah end up taking circles around and eventually they each grow to masterful heights with their courage and strengthI found myself rooting for these women and hoping that the story would end happily and at the end I wanted to research the true stories of the Grimke sisters along with some of the other characters that are introduced throughout this book My review doesn't even compare to describe how I felt about this book Highly recommend I received this book as an ARC from the publisher


  8. says:

    199 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 SC in the early 1800s It's also a tales of slavery as the novel alternates each chapter between the voices of Sarah and her slave Hetty or Handful who was very loosely based on an actual person Angelina and Sarah Grimke southern ladies sisters and early abolitionistsSarah an intelligent introspective daughter of one of the wealthy slaveholding families in Charleston South Carolina is given a slave of her own when she is eleven years old Hetty the slave named Handful by her own people is a year younger than Sarah Sarah immediately tries to free Handful but Sarah's parents uash that move So begins the uneasy relationship between Sarah and Handful one living a life of privilege the other suffering the life of a slave but both wanting so much Sarah wants to do things like going to college and becoming a lawyer that women were barred from in that day; Handful grows and unwilling to accept a life of slavery Sarah is an adamant abolitionist and teaches Handful to read and allows her some small freedoms but in an oddly self righteous move gives Handful back to Sarah's parents even though her mother is especially harsh to slaves because she doesn't want to own a slave Apparently freeing a slave in this time and place was not an easy thing to doI was almost halfway through The Invention of Wings before I looked at the back of the book I may or may not have been peeking at the ending and saw the afterword by the author explaining the factual basis for this novel and realized that Sarah Grimke was a real person Sue Monk Kidd does play a little fast and loose with the facts for example she invents a stammer for Sarah based on the fact that she was known to have difficulties speaking in public and the actual slave Hetty died as a young girl but Kidd doesn't try to present this as a biography and I did appreciate that she explained at some length in the afterword what was and was not historical factCasting this as a fictional work also allowed Kidd the freedom to create a truly memorable character in Handful In one memorable scene Handful and her mother sneak into the library to find the records where their owners assigned all of their assets a dollar value including their slaves so they could see what it would take to buy their freedomGoods and chattel We were like the gold leaf mirror and the horse saddle Not full fledge people I didn't believe this never had believed it a day of my life but if you listen to white folks long enough some sad beat down part of you starts to wonderWhen mauma saw my raw eyes she said Ain't nobody can write down in a book what you worthHandful and her mother are skilled seamstresses and one of the recurring themes in the book is the uilt her mother creates telling the story of her life the terrible experiences as well as the good ones An actual slave uiltAnother theme is the metaphorical wings that both Sarah and Handful develop as they both experience hardships and loss in their lives and grow through their experiences Though Sarah's life was immeasurably privileged than Handful's she had to navigate major personal trials including loss of her dreams and love and deep anger from her family and from society in general over her abolitionist beliefs sorrow as she grows into the strong woman she eventually becomes Sarah is a bit of a frustrating character to read about She's almost paralyzed at times by her fears and uncertainties but she overcame so much in her life and was a major influence in her much younger sister Angelina's life who also became devoted to the abolitionist causeI truly appreciated learning about this early pioneer of both women's rights and abolitionism as well as learning about the many large and small cruelties suffered by slaves in this time


  9. says:

    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 powerless to change history Before this novel I knew nothing of Sarah Grimke and her sister Nina and I'm grateful to Sue Monk Kidd for enlightening meSarah Grimke was the eighth child of fourteen children Nina the twelfth their father was a plantation owner but the family lived in Charleston and had urban slaves Sarah's own personal rebellion against slavery began at age 11 when she refused the gift from her parents' of her own slave Handful Her parents heard her then but it would take until she was 43 for America to hear this woman's voice Sarah had a few things against her in her fight against slavery; she was a woman she was from the south her family had slaves and she stuttered; none of this helped her in her campaign but she was undeterred and uietly then un uietly pursued her life's work to help abolish slavery began The Invention of Wings is the story of Sarah and Handful two women bound together by a culture they both abhorred over the course of some 35 yearsSarah's next insurrection was to teach Handful to read; this was a fairly risky endeavour for a white teenage Southern girl It was actually against the law the feeling was that if slaves could read that would give them knowledge which could lead to power and then an uprising The punishment for this crime was harsh But Sarah wasn't deterred she taught Handful the alphabet and within a few months the young girl knew over 100 words Part of the beauty of this novel is the uilting done by Charlotte Handful's mother Charlotte is the Grimke's seamstress but spends her nights sewing uilts which include story uilts She tells her own family's story through one special uilt which ensures that Handful remains hopeful when Charlotte disappears Charlotte had taught Handful to sew and uilt and these skills mark Handful as a important member of the Grimke household and ensure that she never gets sold off as often happensA slave's song Bread done broken let my Jesus go Feet be tired let my Jesus go Back be aching let my Jesus go Teeth done fell out let my Jesus go Rump be dragging let my Jesus goThis is not the first novel which alludes to people once having had wings now obsolete but their framework still existing The function of shoulder blades is to provide the foundation for proper shoulder joint function and shoulder health Handful's people believed that they are the nubs of their ancestor's wings wings used to carry them freely across the skies Hence the title The Invention of Wings and in the book the slaves most surely would have mourned the loss of their ability to fly But I digress Mary Grimke Sarah's mother was known factually to be a severe and un maternal woman She was also known to be especially harsh to her slave household; she would think nothing of beating a slave over the head back or arms with her silver topped cane She would order the butler to whip a slave in the kitchen yard or order a slave be sent to the Workhouse where punishments were renown to be cruel This had me astounded “By law a slave was 35 of a person” and this; a Lost ad in the Charleston paper reads like a lost dog advert we would place “answers to the name of Charlotte belongs to Judge John Grimke” belongs? belongs? Not one bit of my 2014 brain can process that Two images which will long stay with me Handful's mother having her front teeth knocked out with a hammer so that her new massa Mistah Willcox might identify her next time she ran away And Handful's sister Sky “ ended up with the iron muzzle latched on her mouth It took four men to hold Sky down work the metal prongs inside her mouth and clamp the contraption at the back of her head Sky couldn't eat or talk for two days She slept sitting up so the iron wouldn't cut her face and when she woke groaning I worked a wet rag under the edge of the gag so she could suck water The iron muzzle existed and was often used as a punishment by slave ownersSarah and Handful's story contains an absolute plethora of real life people view spoilerthe real Handful actually died mid teens and Monk Kidd has added years to Handful's life for the purpose of this story hide spoiler


  10. says:

    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 on a plantation that of course had slaves in Charleston in the middle of the 19th century but before the Civil War This is their story and the story of others who also fought for the abolishment of slavery It is also the story of Handful a slave and her mother on the Gremke plantation Some was hard to read the whippings and other mistreatment of the slaves their longing to be free and the many times they had to swallow what they really thought when in their owner's presence The conversations the characters well rounded and exactly right Sarah Mapps a black woman who opened the first school for blacks in Philadelphia a free black and a woman trying to influence others in her own way So many characters that actually existed in history Loved that the author took time to explain her research and her fascination with this subject She also explains who and what were real and what was not Always appreciated in a historical novel Read yesterday that this has been picked up by Oprah's bookclub and I would not be at all surprised to find that this will be made into a movie someday Not because it is melodramatic because it is not but because the lives of the Gremke sisters need to be acknowledged and widely knownARC from NetGalley