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The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
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The Invention of Wings (original 2014; edition 2015)

by Sue Monk Kidd (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,6803051,983 (4.15)208
"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)
Member:Thebeautifulsea
Title:The Invention of Wings
Authors:Sue Monk Kidd (Author)
Info:Penguin Books (2015), Edition: Reprint, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work Information

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (2014)

  1. 110
    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (readysetgo)
  2. 90
    The Help by Kathryn Stockett (readysetgo)
  3. 10
    Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (vwinsloe)
  4. 00
    The Book of Night Women by Marlon James (hoddybook)
    hoddybook: Both look at the horrors of slavery with an emphasis the womens lot.
  5. 00
    Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald (arrwa)
    arrwa: Story of struggle and survival.
  6. 00
    The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden (mybookshelf)
    mybookshelf: Both explore the relationship between a black slave girl and a privileged white girl.
  7. 00
    Property by Valerie Martin (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both of these dramatic novels explore the troubled relationships between slaves and slave owners in the American South using strong female protagonists, as well as exploring the issues all women faced during this dark period in history.… (more)
  8. 00
    Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth (vwinsloe)
  9. 00
    Harriet and Isabella by Patricia O'Brien (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Strong female characters are central to these dramatic, emotional stories. Intertwining historical events with themes of slavery, women's rights, and family loyalties, both of these novels are told in alternating voices.
  10. 00
    When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago (megk11676)
    megk11676: A memoir of a girl growing up in Puerto Rico and then in Brooklyn in the 1950's-1960's.
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» See also 208 mentions

English (302)  German (3)  All languages (305)
Showing 1-5 of 302 (next | show all)
this was a book club book by Lynda Sue Monk Kidd always good books
( )
  PatLibrary123 | Aug 9, 2022 |
“To remain silent in the face of evil is itself a form of evil.”
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Invention of Wings

Words..any words..would not do this book justice. It is an instant classic.

This book is flawless. Rarely have I been so stirred emotionally. The story of Sarah and Heddy is poignant, touching and evocative. This is the type of book that changes you.

I will not do a plot recount as hundreds of others have already done. But the story..about the relationship between a slave girl and the girl she was "given to". I found this book so good, I was glued to it and finished it in one sitting. The story and the writing were astounding.

It w as also educational for me as I had no idea these women were real people until I read the end. It is invigorating to know that.

Beyond the themes of friendship and sacrifice, and the portrait of the world as it was then, there also emerges the theme of Feminism and standing up for what you believe is right and just. I adored both characters. Their strong wills and refusel to conform to a version of what society expects them to be is portrayed beautifully and catapults this book into instant classic status.

It was interesting reading this as I felt like I'd read it before but I think that's because it reminded me of classics I'd read in my youth. I also would say this book is destined to be one of those classics.

Five stars does not even do it justice. For Historical fiction lovers you are not going to find a higher quality read. This instantly became one of my all time favorites and I suspect many others will feel the same. ( )
  Thebeautifulsea | Aug 5, 2022 |
Really enjoyed this fictionalized story of the Grimke sisters. Will recommend to my teenage daughter too. ( )
  kathp | Jun 10, 2022 |
The Invention of Wings is a fictionalised tale of Sarah & Angelina Gimke. Sue Monk Kidd drew inspiration from the sisters real-life exploits, grafting fiction into truth to tell their story.
These two women were the first female abolition agents. Sarah was the first woman in the United States to write a comprehensive feminist manifesto, and Angelina was the first woman to speak before a legislative body. They not only paved the way for the abolition of slavery but also made inroads into women’s rights.

There was quite a lot of hype when The Invention of Wings was published and I’d read a lot of glowing reviews with words like heart-breaking, powerful and disturbing so I was expecting an emotional read. However I was quite underwhelmed. The emotion was missing and the significant attention to the development of the main characters pulled away from the main topic of the story; the harsh treatment of slaves and their right to freedom. I felt a lot of the atrocities, the fear, hunger, diseases, cold, brutal treatment and rape, were dulled down.

The story is told from the point of view of Sarah Gimke and Handful, a young slave girl, given to Sarah for her 11th birthday.
I tried to put myself in Sarah’s shoes; a female from a white aristocratic family. What would I do?
I can never in anyway imagine myself in Handful’s shoes – being owned and having no rights what-so-ever.

The Invention of Wings was a solemn tale, a major part of American history. It is a story of standing up for what you believe and speaking out, but ultimately a story of hope. ( )
  Ronnie293 | Mar 30, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 302 (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)
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kidd, Sue Monkprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lamia, JennaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mania, AstridÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Sandy Kidd
with all my love
First words
There was a time in Africa the people could fly.
Quotations
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.)
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Wikipedia in English

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"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"--

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Book description
Haiku summary
Two girls - pampered, slave
Both fighting to change their lives
They escape their bonds
(sushitori)

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