The Invention of Wings Author:Sue Monk Kidd 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 ... more »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.« less
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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.
What an amazing work of historical fiction. The characters come back to life and you feel like you are there with them. The Grimke sisters were absolutely fascinating and it's always wonderful to know that what you do can make a difference in the world.