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
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.
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.
The whole book moved me.
I loved The Secret Lives Of Bees but this was even better.
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.
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 ?
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.
I loved the City of Bees by same author and narrators, for the same reasons.
Made it real and captivating….and often very disturbing.
Many moments moved in this book and left me disturbed and inspired.
It was all brilliant! Captured the different characters so well, and made it so interesting and enjoyable to listen to.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes I would listen to it again - I have now classified this as one of my favourite books.
yes, but I had to listen over a period of time.
"The Invention of Wings"
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.
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.
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.
Yes if I had enough time all at once!
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.
couldn't be bettered
when Handful was "given" as a birthday present.....
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
my emotional reaction was one of wonder - the story a rollercoaster, stayed in my head even when not listening
I have to say that this is without doubt my "read" of the year
Full of wonderful history form a much different perspective. So well done, and read perfectly, I really enjoyed this book.
Both fantastic readers, authentic accents and so well read
The one-legged punishment
Unique, an unusual account of both white and black POV of slavery. Not just another slave 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.
"I took a risk, I am so glad I did!"
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"....
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....
I enjoyed the scenes with Handful and her mother, and I cried at her mother's passing....
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.
I want to share this book with my own daughter in years to come.
Wonderful, great narration
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.
"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.
Can't wait for the movie! Loads of research for fact and fiction went into this epic book. Don't pass it by!
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.
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
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".
The whole book was extremely moving and interesting. I would recommend it to anyone.
"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.
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