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The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd


Overview - From the celebrated author of" The Secret Life of Bees," a #1"New York Times" bestselling 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.  Read more...


 
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Overview

From the celebrated author of" The Secret Life of Bees," a #1"New York Times" bestselling 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."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780143121701
  • ISBN-10: 0143121707
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Publish Date: May 2015
  • Page Count: 384

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TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd is based on the life of Sarah Grimké, an outspoken abolitionist who lived in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 1800s. Headstrong Sarah is the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner. A woman of principle who believes in justice and equality, she seeks a platform for her energies. Since childhood, she has been friends with Handful, a slave owned by the Grimké family who is her personal maid. Smart and courageous, Handful puts up an obedient, dutiful front but has hopes of making a new life for herself. The two women remain friends over the years, and both work in different ways to find their own versions of liberty. Kidd’s characters are larger than life, but she tells their story in a way that’s intimate and personal, presenting a nuanced depiction of their friendship. A pick for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0, Kidd’s latest novel will get book clubs talking.

 

This article was originally published in the May 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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