This was an absolutely wonderful book. It's my favorite by the author. The two women's stories are beautifully interwoven. I found some of the slave abuse passages disturbing but they weren't gratuitously graphic. It wasn't until I finished that I found out that some of the characters are actual historical figures. To me that gives the story even more emotion. I highly recommend this for fans of historical fiction or simply of a good story.
Loved this one. Well written so that you know just what the characters are feeling. The chapters flowed smoothly even though the narrator changed back and forth from Handful to Sarah. Both character's stories where equally interesting. I really appreciated the rather long author's note at the end. Ms. Kidd went into great detail about what was fact and what was fiction and I was glad to have read what happened to everyone after the final scene in the book.
Really I give this 4.5 stars. It's beautifully written and the author is on top of her game of weaving story lines and characters together. The only thing that detracted the half star for me was the ending felt a little rushed.
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings
Told from two perspectives, Sarah a daughter of a wealthy judge in Charleston who owns a few slaves and depends on them and Handful one of the slaves of the home who becomes Sarah's personal slave. Alternating between these two stories, the author provides a full perspective of the South during the years where slavery was prevalent and their lively hoods depended on the work these slaves did in their homes and plantations.
This book slightly reminded me of one I just read The Wedding Gift and I loved that one, but this one still had an authentic feel. Without putting out any spoilers, I loved that the author didn't include anything Civil War related. I enjoyed reading the beginning rumblings of abolition and the start of the movement, but it didn't go there like so many other books do.
THE INVENTION OF WINGS was the November 2014 pick in my online book club, The Reading Cove.
Since the story is based on the life of early American abolitionist Sarah Moore Grimké, I wish I could say I enjoyed it, but I didn't, and here's why...
The two main characters whose perspective the story's told from, never stepped into a third dimension for me. I also felt they both suffered behind the veil of a dull, flat and monotone narrative.
The synopsis led me to expect an epic friendship between slave and slave owner in the Antebellum Southbut what a disappointment! I think the friendship between Sarah and Handful was severely underdeveloped and needed a double shot of collagen to plump it to life! What a missed opportunity this was for the author to create something special during this time in US history.
So overall, the book got off to a slow start for me, picked up a smidget about 100 pages in, then became a flat out chore to slog through because I had little to no interest in anything that was going on. I finished only because it was a Cove pick.
While I applaud Sue Monk Kidd for introducing the modern world to heroic women like Sarah Grimkéwho've unfortunately been long since forgotten through the passage of timeher writing style just isn't my cuppa. For me it's very dull and uncompelling.
The Invention of Wings is by Sue Monk Kidd, the author of the best-selling book, The Secret Life of Bees. It is the story of two Charleston, S.C., sisters and the young slave girl that was given to one of the sisters wrapped up with ribbons for her eleventh birthday. I find it difficult to read about topics such as slavery and the holocaust because I find it difficult to hold on to hope and the promise of something better when immersed in these topics. Yet, this book of historical fiction provided a glimpse of how everyday people can rise to greatness in refusing to accept slavery then and continued racism and sexism today. This beautifully written book gave me hope that we can all rise to build a world that values each person and respects the creativity that each of us brings to life.
Wonderful book! I highly recommend it. The characters were complex and interesting, and Kidd captured the time period with such vivid imagery. At the end, Kidd explains how she created the story and the characters, which was really interesting.
The story of two women born in the early 1800's in Charleston, SC - one born into slavery and the other born into a slaveholding family. Despite the roles of mistress and slave that they were born into, they both rebel in the roles - a rebellion that shapes their friendship and their lives.
I gave the book 4 1/2 stars. The only reason that I ddn't give it the full five stars was because my emotions weren't drawn into the story enough. But that doesn't mean that it wasn't a really really good story. Both Sarah Grimke (who was based on a real woman) and Hettie/Handful were women to be admired. I would love to see this book made into a movie.
I loved Sue Monk Kidd's book "The Secret Life of Bees" but was very disappointed in her book "The Mermaid Chair". I am happy to report that she has more than redeemed herself, in my opinion anyway, with her novel "The Invention of Wings". It is a compelling and well written book taking place in early to mid 19th century Charleston when slavery was at the very heart of their culture. The fact that the book is based on real people and incidents makes it all the more interesting. I highly recommend this book.
Beautifully written which was no surprise to me! A very enjoyable read to say the least! It definitely pulled at my heart strings!
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK! THE WRITING WAS SUBERB, THE RELATIONSHIPS WERE BRUTAL AS WELL AS HEART WARMING.
A LOOK AT A TIME AND PLACE I HAD LITTLE KNOWLEDGE OF. A TRUE TESTAMENT TO THE HUMAN SPIRIT EVEN IN THE HARSHEST OF TIMES. I CAN'T WAIT TO READ ANOTHER BOOK BY THIS AUTHOR. (LOVED THE LIFE OF BEES, MERMAID'S CHAIR WAS HER WEAKEST IN MY OPINION).
Excellent compelling tale of two women in the early 1800's - one a slave and one a wealthy slave owner. Fabulous story and abolition, women's rights, love honor and redemption.
I haveread many books about slavery but this is definitely one, if not, the best. I've read all three of her book and am always enthralled. It was very interesting learning more about abolition and women's rights. Brutal, but true, a must read.
Kidd's novels are amazing reads! This one is a departure from 20th century life and dates back to the southern gentility in Charleston. This story is based on real people who made their mark in history. Two sisters from a slave-owning family in Charleston in the early 1800s are the rebellious ones who sympathize with the plight of the negro. It follows their fight for freedom of their slaves regardless of the consequences to their family. This is a wonderful story of love and loyalty and compassion...the story of Sarah, her sister, Nina and their slave, Hetty.
A thoroughly enjoyable book.
This book for me was slow to take off. It finally picked up after page 100, and I'm so glad I finished it! I didn't know that some of the characters were based off of real life people until I read some of the reviews.
Wonderful book! Couldn't put it down! I love Kidd's writings! Her vocabulary is so expansive!
The Invention of Wings is a story that takes place in the 1800s south. An 11 year old well-to-do girl Sarah Grimke, is awarded her own slave, 10 year old Hetty. Even at the age of 11, Sarah is against slavery; something that is balked at publicly and within her family, so for her young years, her thoughts are basically kept to herself. The story continues through Sarah's adulthood with her younger sister Nina with whom she is very close. Hetty's heartbreaking past is shown throughout the story and Sarah's & Nina's determination for abolition and suffrage become very public.
I was struck by how forward thinking these women were, very much into equality for all, and then I realized when reading the Author's Note, Sue Monk Kidd had done research on these women who were in fact, real women and leaders of abolition and women's rights. Although the story of Sarah & Nina is based on fact, it's a well written âthickly imaginedâ story inspired by their lives.
In the end, Sarah unselfishly and bravely does her best to help Hetty because their care and friendship for each other never really wavers.
I loved the book.................interesting and a page turner.
A fictionalized account of the lives of the Grimke sisters, who were born into a slave holding family in the heart of Charleston but who went on to become early proponents of abolition and women's rights. Also the counterpoint story of Hettie or Handful, the fictional character of a slave girl in the Grimke household.
Read my full review at: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2014/02/the-invention-of-wings.html
Even though this book was good, I put it down in the middle and read two books in between before picking it up again to finish. For some reason, I just got bored and needed a change of genres. I'm glad I didn't abandon it since it was an excellent story of the beginning of abolition and I found out in the end, was based on some factual characters and events.
I'm not going to go in to detail about the story line. But I do want to say that I don't want to quit reading it.