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The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of Wings (2014)

by Sue Monk Kidd

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3,3612522,293 (4.17)172
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» See also 172 mentions

English (251)  German (1)  All languages (252)
Showing 1-5 of 251 (next | show all)
Historical fiction. These 2 abolitionist sisters really existed. I had not heard of them before until this book. I like at the end how the author goes over information about the sisters and what the author changed for the book and what was not. It was a nice history lesson. For people interested in a story, it was a good story as well. ( )
  shelbycassie | Aug 5, 2018 |
This story is about two girls, both who are trapped within lives they cannot change (slave, unmarried woman) but who grow into inspirational and extraordinary friends.

I did not realize that Sarah and her sister, Nina, were real people until I read the author's note. A clever weaving of fact and fiction by the author! ( )
  sraelling | Jul 26, 2018 |
On principle, I don't like reading any trailers or book jacket snippets about a book. I like to be surprised. On this one, however, I think I would've enjoyed the book even more if I had known that the book was based on real characters and events. Oh well. I enjoyed it very much anyway & definitely recommend it! ( )
  CSKteach | Jul 20, 2018 |
Kind of disappointed by this book. It started off with so much promise and I kept expecting it to get better, but it never really did. I felt like not enough time was spent showing the interactions between Handful and Sarah during their childhood. All of a sudden they are friends, but it seems like Handful didn't get the notice and only tolerates Sarah. The book gets two stars because I liked the ending. ( )
  wellreadcatlady | Jul 9, 2018 |
I'd give this one 6 stars if I could. ( )
  Thebrownbookloft | Jun 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 251 (next | show all)
Both Handful and Sarah are admirable characters, though rather disappointingly so. Improbable allies are most engaging when they make life hard for each other and generally it takes them a while to find their common pulse. But Sarah empathizes so completely with Handful from the very beginning that we never get to doubt their innate sisterhood. While their identities as mistress and slave imply conflict, it’s not a conflict played out between them. Handful’s rich resentment is rarely directed at Sarah. How could it be? The actual Sarah Grimké may have been as earnest and honorable as she is here, but a little less righteousness might have furnished this story with a wider wingspan.
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, SUZANNE BERNE (Jan 24, 2014)
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To Sandy Kidd
with all my love
First words
There was a time in Africa the people could fly.
The truth, she said, is that every girl must have ambition knocked out of her for her own good. You are unusual only in your determination to fight what is inevitable. You resisted and so it came to this, to being broken like a horse.
Life is arranged against us, Sarah. And it's brutally worse for Handful and her mother and sister. We're all yearning for a wedge of sky, aren't we? I suspect God plants these yearnings in us so we'll at least try and change the course of things.
"Our slaves were happy," she would boast.  It never occurred to her their gaiety wasn't contentment, but survival.
I have one mind for the master to see.  I have another mind for what I know is me.
Color prejudice is at the bottom of everything.  If it's not fixed, the plight of the Negro will continue long after abolition.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
Haiku summary
Two girls - pampered, slave
Both fighting to change their lives
They escape their bonds

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670024783, Hardcover)

From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"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"--… (more)

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