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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 (52 )
5 star
 (33)
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3 star
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2 star
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4.5 (46 )
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Story
4.6 (48 )
5 star
 (34)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (2)
2 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
    1
    ratings
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    38
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 10-07-14
    Jan 10-07-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    2
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    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
  •  
    Wendy Lohse Tasmania Australia 08-09-14
    Wendy Lohse Tasmania Australia 08-09-14 Member Since 2012

    age 60

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "History's Children"
    What did you love best about The Invention of Wings?

    The beautiful voices of the chosen readers for each of the child characters.


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

    Perhaps I'd compare it with Martin Zusak's The Book Thief. Both books choose the most difficult and shameful times in our histories in the world. And both books give the histories over to the voices of children; the simplicity and justice of the minds of children. The preservation and perpetuation of attitudes are shown to us by these girls. Each book reveals the vital importance of imagination as a tool for survival through impossible circumstances.


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

    Oh, they were perfect. I could imagine each girl as she spoke.


    If you could rename The Invention of Wings, what would you call it?

    I cannot imagine this story called by any other name. The invention of wings is what it is all about. We all have wings when we choose, or need, to use them.


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to this book many times already. I will listen many more times. Both voices are compelling, like listening to the lyrics of a very long saga from two very different points of view. Opposing sides. Slavery is a distasteful subject historically. These girls, from opposing sides of the enslavement fence, can never be equal, no matter how they would both like it to be. Hence the invention of wings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Gutteridge 06-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intelligent, provocative story"
    Would you listen to The Invention of Wings again? Why?

    Yes - there is depth and complexity in the historical narrative and the character development that is likely to reveal more on a second listening. The cultural issues it explores (race, gender & class inequities) still impact Western society, if less explicitly. It is also very well written and read.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All of the characters are drawn with depth, and even the less heroic or likeable characters play thoughfully against the main protagonists.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorna Johannesburg, South Africa 06-03-14
    Lorna Johannesburg, South Africa 06-03-14 Member Since 2010

    I have a busy career, travel a lot and don't have much time to read, so I listen to Audio books. I love reading!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
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    5
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    "Beautiful!"
    Would you listen to The Invention of Wings again? Why?

    I would listen again.. it was a beautiful story


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

    The Housemaid's Daughter, 12 Years a slave. The book leads us on a tale of slavery and "below stairs" that is overlooked.


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

    The two different stories of the "above stairs" and "below stairs". The different perspectives that each young woman has on life.


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

    It had a languid poignancy to it that led you into a well woven story.


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. IT was well written and very well narrated.. Makes me want to quilt a story of my own..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate 05-16-14
    Kate 05-16-14
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    "A must read"
    What made the experience of listening to The Invention of Wings the most enjoyable?

    I couldn't put it down. The characters lived with me and I missed them when I was not listening to the book. Beautifully read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The contrast between the two strong female characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results
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  • 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.

    1 of 1 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

    1 of 1 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

    1 of 1 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom
    6/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enthralling"
    What did you like most about The Invention of Wings?

    The way each of the 2 main characters read their own parts. It makes it so much more interesting to listen to


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

    There are so many memorable moments in the book it would be hard to name one. One was when Handful was given to Sarah as her maid and a funny one was when Handful made herself at home in Sarah's room, even having a bath in her tub. Handful is such a good character. The description of the 'patchwork blanket' made by Handful's mother was brilliant. I would love to see one of these.


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

    I just love Jenna Lamias voice. She is of the reasons I chose to listen to this as she was so brilliant as the narrator of Skeetar in 'The Help'. Adepero Oduye's voice was lovely and mellow. They were both perfect narrators.


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

    What Sarah went through to try to liberate the slaves, she was so brave. Also the punishment that the slaves had to endure for such menial errors, as if they were animals or sub human. Makes you amazed that this sort of thing actually happened.


    Any additional comments?

    I actually didn't realise until near the end that this story was actually based on fact and that Sarah Grinke was a real person who did fight for the liberation of slaves and also for womens rights. The authors comments at the end of the book were really interesting and I have looked up a lot of the information she mentioned. EXCELLENT!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sue
    fordingbridge, United Kingdom
    4/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So Moving"

    This book captured me from the first moment, a little slow in places but maybe that reflected the times. But so very moving and beautifully written.
    Also loved the piece from the author at the end of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kevin
    Wallsend, United Kingdom
    2/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Impactful, heart-wrenching journey"
    What did you like best about this story?

    After having only listened to fast-paced stories before I was unsure about this relatively slow journey through these two women's lives, however the story gripped me and I felt like I was there inside their lives.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The scenes I most enjoyed were those in which the women were at their most forceful.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    a bid for freedom


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results

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