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The Invention of Wings | [Sue Monk Kidd]

The Invention of Wings

From the celebrated author of the international bes tseller The Secret Life of Bees comes an extraordinary novel about two exceptional women. Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah's eleventh birthday, Hetty 'Handful' Grimke is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift.
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Publisher's Summary

From the celebrated author of the international best seller The Secret Life of Bees comes an extraordinary novel about two exceptional women.

Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah's eleventh birthday, Hetty 'Handful' Grimke is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift.

Sarah knows what she does next will unleash a world of trouble. She also knows that she cannot accept. And so, indeed, the trouble begins ...

A powerful, sweeping novel, inspired by real events, and set in the American Deep South in the nineteenth century, The Invention Of Wings evokes a world of shocking contrasts, of beauty and ugliness, of righteous people living daily with cruelty they fail to recognise; and celebrates the power of friendship and sisterhood against all the odds.

©2014 Sue Monk Kidd (P)2014 Headline Digital

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (86 )
5 star
 (50)
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 (29)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
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4.5 (79 )
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Story
4.7 (81 )
5 star
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Sara Auckland, New Zealand 03-29-14
    Sara Auckland, New Zealand 03-29-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    3
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    FOLLOWING
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    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Those Ahead Of Their Time"
    What did you love best about The Invention of Wings?

    Both the theme of people able to see right from wrong against all odds in the society they have been brought up in and in spite of it ostracizing them within their family, friends and community at large, along with the strength and endurance of the spirit during unspeakable circumstances.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The truth.


    What does Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They both narrated beautifully but I particularly love to listen to Jenna Lamia; I've heard her narrate before and she is mesmerising. If I had read the book instead it would have been fabulous but I would have missed out on the pleasure of hearing both of their lovely voices.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole book moved me.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved The Secret Lives Of Bees but this was even better.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emma 04-17-15
    Emma 04-17-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    21
    10
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    2
    1
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    Story
    "fabulous story and narration"

    The writing was lovely and the story interesting, made more so that it is based on a true story of two Southern sisters who spent their lives campaigning against slavery and for the rights of women.

    the performance of both barrators was superb as they truly brought the story to life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JBarnard 08-15-15
    JBarnard 08-15-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Best of the best"

    The prefect combination of a simple yet devastating storyline beautifulle written by a great author and read by 2 of the most endearing voices ever. Specially haaandful ... how can one ever improve on this ?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Nichols 08-08-15 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    Story
    "Wonderful audio book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes highly recommended. The narrator adds so much to this book…..I don't think it would be so captivating if I read it myself. I was taken back into the time and place by listening to the accounts of Sarah and Handful. There were some powerful themes in the story and yet it was not dense - it was easy listening.


    What other book might you compare The Invention of Wings to and why?

    I loved the City of Bees by same author and narrators, for the same reasons.


    What does Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Made it real and captivating….and often very disturbing.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Many moments moved in this book and left me disturbed and inspired.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Costa Australia 06-22-15
    R. Costa Australia 06-22-15 Member Since 2015

    bookster

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Sue Monk Kidd, when is your next book?"

    Absolutely loved it. I was enthralled from beginning to end. A can't put it down book and a must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Wodonga, Australia 06-05-15
    Matt Wodonga, Australia 06-05-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    73
    12
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    0
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    "Courageous"
    What about Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye ’s performance did you like?

    It was all brilliant! Captured the different characters so well, and made it so interesting and enjoyable to listen to.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't realise until after listening that it was based on a real person and real events. Makes it all the more inspiring to know the courageous movements towards equality actually happened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gina 06-03-15
    Gina 06-03-15 Member Since 2015
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    1
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    "Very enjoyable listen"

    Based on truth, this story about slavery and the two sisters who campaigned against it, is a most enjoyable read. Hard to listen to, in parts due to the cruelty the slaves had to endure. It is, however an uplifting book about friendship and loyalty.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. A. De Mare 03-25-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spellbound!"

    Loved the story and the dual narrators...exactly the right choice for an audiobook. THIS is the book that should have been made into the movie and won the oscars, NOT the overhyped "Twelve Years..." The author's appendix was an unexpected bonus and made me want to research further into the work of the Grimky (sp?) sisters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ej 01-30-15
    ej 01-30-15
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    36
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    "Excellent in all aspects."

    Absorbing,thoughtful,shameful
    The narration is superb, it made the book even more powerful. The story is at time heart rendering, making one wonder how humans can possibly be so cruel. The strength of the main characters is amazing. I re read the book straight away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 10-07-14
    Jan 10-07-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Eye opener for life in the South."
    Would you listen to The Invention of Wings again? Why?

    Yes I would listen to it again - I have now classified this as one of my favourite books.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes, but I had to listen over a period of time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • AmyAlice
    Durham, United Kingdom
    9/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Invention of Wings"
    Would you listen to The Invention of Wings again? Why?

    Yes - the story is based on true events during the lead up to the US Civil War. It is told from 2 points of view, a slave girl and the child she is 'given' to who is age 11. This young girl Sarah is bright, thoughtful and sensitive. Her abilities are stifled by the over-riding desire of her parents for her to fit into society.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Invention of Wings?

    This is difficult to answer without giving away the story. The story swings from the pampered world of the plantation owners who lack all humanity towards their slaves and the slave quarters themselves. The exception is the young daughter, Sarah, who understands, intrinsically, that slavery is wrong. She has to live within the South's society all the while hating what it stands for. Eventually she leaves for the North leaving young Handful behind. Meanwhile we watch Handful grow up, see her hopeless situation and witness her mother's brutal punishment for running away. Of course with Sarah in the North Handful begins to think there may be a chance for her to reach freedom too.


    What about Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye ’s performance did you like?

    The performances are well done and sound distinct from each other. The characters of Sarah and Handful are very different so having varying voices helped. The character of Sarah has a speech problem and this was handled well, Meanwhile Handful's strength and endurance comes through her 'voice' too.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes if I had enough time all at once!


    Any additional comments?

    Sue Monk Kydd is a consistent author and with this book she is definitely hitting high standards. I had no idea that Sarah and her sister , Nina, were real people.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • sunflower
    UK
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mindblowing"
    If you could sum up The Invention of Wings in three words, what would they be?

    couldn't be bettered


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Invention of Wings?

    when Handful was "given" as a birthday present.....


    What about Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye ’s performance did you like?

    Their emotions, their interpretations, their warmth in the words, that me as the listener actually felt, breathed, imbibed the South, thru their words and accents


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    my emotional reaction was one of wonder - the story a rollercoaster, stayed in my head even when not listening


    Any additional comments?

    I have to say that this is without doubt my "read" of the year

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jane Monk
    6/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Full of wonderful history form a much different perspective. So well done, and read perfectly, I really enjoyed this book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Invention of Wings?

    The treadmill


    Which character – as performed by Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye – was your favourite?

    Both fantastic readers, authentic accents and so well read


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The one-legged punishment


    Any additional comments?

    Unique, an unusual account of both white and black POV of slavery. Not just another slave story

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amelia
    United Kingdom
    2/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slavery up close and personal"

    I got this as in Top Ten New York bestsellers. I felt the narration was good and added to the story. I had never heard of Sarah or Nina and their role in the push for abolition of slavery.It was interesting the way that the story is told in turn by Handful and Sarah. I did feel that it dragged a bit and Sarah especially with her supposed high intellect was very annoying at times with the things and situations she accepted. I did enjoy the book and would recommend it but would not be in my top 10 reads.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    8/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I took a risk, I am so glad I did!"
    Where does The Invention of Wings rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best audiobook by far, as it was only my second!! Possibly one of the best books I have ever had the fortune to "read"....


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the characters, the historical aspects, the things I learned from this book will stay with me forever. I had only a very basic knowledge of slavery and abolition in the Deep South, now I feel better informed and dare I say educated by this book.

    This is not to say that I did not enjoy the story too, I loved the girls, and their tales. I loved the descriptive language of the writer, and the images she conjured up.

    The actors were great, both girls growing up in voice and manner with the book.

    I was devastated to reach the end....


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I enjoyed the scenes with Handful and her mother, and I cried at her mother's passing....


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It would be impossible to do in 1 sitting, but it visited it as often as time would allow. In the car, running, walking, cooking at home.... I was immersed in this book.

    I feel that I might have struggled with some of the language and turn of phrases in this book, were it written word, but spoken word gives much more context so I found it not as challenging.


    Any additional comments?

    I want to share this book with my own daughter in years to come.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • B
    8/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful"
    If you could sum up The Invention of Wings in three words, what would they be?

    Wonderful, great narration


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the narration of both main characters and the story. The only annoying thing was wanting to shout at the silly men in the story who felt suppression of the "weak female" was essential for the womens sake. Thank goodness I didn't live in those days but thank goodness the Author wrote this wonderful book based on real lives.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • roving mum
    UK
    8/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully written wonderfully read."

    Loved Secret Life of Bees so thought I'd also enjoy this but didn't expect to be so swept away. Amazing tale of love, courage, and the best and worst of humanity. The readers really made this book come to life and I was so sad to lose them when I came to the end. Discovering it was based on real people, albeit with artistic license, had quite an impact and made me do my own little post listen research. Brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Busymum
    Northern Ireland
    8/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous book"

    Can't wait for the movie! Loads of research for fact and fiction went into this epic book. Don't pass it by!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms. K. Cowburn
    8/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely fascinating!"
    If you could sum up The Invention of Wings in three words, what would they be?

    Such an interesting look into slavery and abolition, looking at a scene from both a slave girl's perspective and the viewpoint of her "owner". I thoroughly enjoyed this book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Invention of Wings?

    I loved hearing the story from both perspectives, how life progressed for 2 girls of the same age, from 4 years old to late 40's. How they grew, together and separately. Absolutely fascinating


    What does Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I enjoyed the different women reading each character's writings. Having the difference of accents to bring the story alive made it easier to focus on what was happening, without worrying about who was "talking".


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole book was extremely moving and interesting. I would recommend it to anyone.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christine Helfrich
    7/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wonderful combination of history. & imagination"

    This book takes inspiration and timeline from the life of Sarah Grimke, a convinced Quaker, who becomes the first American woman to campaign for women's while campaigning for abolition of slavery. The portrayal of Arch St Quaker Meeting struggling to quiet her strong campaign and its provision of separate benches for black members illustrates the Quakers' struggles with their profession of equality.

    But the best part is the creation of the story of Handful, a young black slave who was given to Sarah on her 11th birthday and Sarah attempts to emancipate. Although the historical slave named Hetty dies shortly after, Sue Monk Kidd creates a character as sting and well drawn as Sarah herself and as the narration oscillates between these two women ti drives the story and makes compelling reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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