The Invention of Wings: A Novel

Written by:
Sue Monk Kidd

Unabridged Audiobook

Ratings
Book
381
Narrator
72
Release Date
January 2014
Duration
13 hours 43 minutes
Summary
From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent 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 world—and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection.


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.
Reviews
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Elvira L.

I recommend the book. Some of the parts are difficult to listen to because of the severity of human behavior. Stay with the book as this is how we witness the stories of suffering people. My hearts is wiser and softer because of the stories of these enduring women.

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Joanne R.

Wonderful book based on a true life well lived. The narration was fantastic. The epilogue added so much.

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Pam R.

Painful because of the nature of the story but very well written and the narrators were very good. Probably one of my favorites so far!

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Erika K

Beautiful stories. I love the narration. It enabled the story to unfold in my imagination. The description of the events each of the women's lives were extremely heartfelt.

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Mandy T.

I loved this book. The characters and settings were so well developed and rich. There was a lot of history put into this novel which made it that much more impactful.

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Sussan C.

Wonderful book and well written. The narrators really pulled you into the story. Sue Monk Kidd is a great writer and I have loved all her books. Thanks for sharing this fascinating story.

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Anonymous

Loved it

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Anonymous

I thoroughly enjoyed this book - start to finish, and the storyline gained momentum for the final chapters. Absolutely wonderful!

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Tiana G.

A beautiful, heart wrenching story with amazing narration. Sad that I did not know anything about the Gremke sisters before this book.

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Shar V.

excellent. simply excellent.

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Knfisher

Heart wrenching and eye opening!

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LCaldwell

Absolutely Fantastic. The narrators could not have done a better job! Some hard content but beautifully written.

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Mona S.

SMKidd's writes such a vivid picture that draws you into each scene. The readers brought each character to life. This is one I will listen to often!

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Felecia R.

The story was very poignant at times as she delved into a very sensitive and horrifying topic and yet it was exhilarating at others as the author showed the realistic struggle of knowing what's right and doing what's right. How even under the worst of circumstances love can triumph over the worst of situations. I loved the way she artfully weaved fiction and non-fiction together. She masterfully brought the characters to life, she made them live and breathe through the narrator; so much so that I did additional research on the Grimké sister and Hetty. This is a must read!

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Staci L.

beautiful no.....wonderful book. one of my favorites.

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Jacklyn V.

This was a very enjoyable an informatively book ! The narraters were very clear . I particularly liked the epilogue of the Author . I find it interesting to learn what prompts an Author to choose a topic

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Shelly B.

Wonderful book!

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Jan S.

Excellent story Excellent narration

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Anonymous

Must read book for the times! My heart was so broken so many times.

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Wooley O.

Well done Sue for bringing the Grimke sisters to life.

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Cynthia Rogers

There were many wings in this book the challenges of the day rules laws promoting ways to live are all were under scrutiny So the wings that were invented were based on history from Charleston South Carolina slavery women’s rights It was in chanting book she’s a fabulous writer Sue Monk Kidd

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Kerrie R.

Brilliant and beautiful. Will listen to this book again very soon.

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Kelly G.

Excellent book and narration - I highly recommend!

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Jamie Z.

One of my all-time favorite books, wow. i loved the two main characters, and how the story was alternately told through them. The two he readers were both outstanding. So well-written and researched. Hearing the author talk at the end about her process in writing the book, and how much was historically accurate and true in the story, added so much and helped satisfy my curiosity and desire for MORE. I learned a great deal about slavery, both intellectually and emotionally. Thank you author and narrators!

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Cathy D.

Amazing. I was so sad when the book ended. Not sure what I enjoyed more...the story or the narrators. Just lovely.

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Caroline H

Thanks to outstanding writing and skilled narration, I found myself immersed in the lives of Sarah, Charlotte, Handful, and Nina from the very first words to the final page. Sue Monk Kidd brings Charleston to life like few others, and her thoughtful, colourful descriptions made me yearn to return to East Bay and Market Street before I inevitably reread this remarkable novel.

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Megan H

This book is empowering and the narrators are magnificent! This is a book that I will repeatedly listen to.

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Nancy K

I just listened to this book again. I love the book and the narrators. As I read (listened), I looked up things I had questions about, and always found them to be accurate. At the end, the author details her research and any liberties she took with dates, characters, etc. Great book!

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Sharon J

I will most definitely be recommending this book to others. I haven't met a Sue Monk Kidd book I haven't liked!

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Arwa Y

I enjoyed reading this book. What makes this book so unique is her style of storytelling. It was very interesting to see how the characters comprehend the events, how one event can be told by two different people who lives under two different circumstances.

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Mary Ayotte

This is one of my favorite books of all time. Both narrators are great, I enjoyed learning of the true historical pieces in the story, and I love champions like Sarah and Angelina, who have helped change the world for the better.

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Bailey Mays

Such a great read! You won't regret it. Sue Monk Kidd is an excellent writer that does not disappoint. I only wish the book had been longer. :)

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Bailey Mays

Such a great read! You won't regret it. Sue Monk Kidd is an excellent writer that does not disappoint. I only wish the book had been longer. :)

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Marah Walsh

I think the narrator played a role in why I liked this book so much. They were both excellent and helped the characters come alive in this audio version. This historical fiction book was compelling in many ways. I enjoyed following the development of the slave, Handful, and the Grimke girl's story and seeing their strength develop during that time in our history. It is nice to see strong women characters. A must read - and listen!

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michaela lang

Glad i read this book. It gave me a better understanding of the times of slavery and the early abolition and women's rights movements. It's extremely well researched and written. And the narration was very well done with both a black and a white voice for the two main characters. I highly recommend it.

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Mary Green

Historical fiction is probably my favorite genre, and Sue Monk Kidd does not disappoint with this book. The author depicts an historically accurate antebellum south without romantacizing life in these times. The narration of this book was outstanding as well. I never learned of the Grimke sisters in history class, and it's unlikely their impact on the abolition and equality will ever be presented in the classroom. Thank you, Sue Monk Kidd, for the rich history lesson from both perspectives.

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Minda Gold

Wonderfully written and loved the different voices of the characters. Great piece of historical fiction expanding my knowledge about two empowered sisters and their impact on the abolitionist movement. Strongly recommend!

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Anonymous

Best book ever....I enjoyed every disk....a must for everyone!

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Whitney Miller

This was a great book to listen to. Narration was on point.

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Morag Bradie

Loved the story which only got better as it went on. Similar re the narrator. Didn't like the voice (of Sarah) at first but it grew on me as her character developed. Definitely worth it.

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Teri Chambers

Eyeopening book about the disgrace of slavery. Hard to get into the mindset of owning any individual as a piece of property.....shameful.

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Karey McCarley

I had already read this book but liked it so much I wanted to hear it. Was not disappointed. I always hear new things when I do listen after reading first.

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Kasia Bennett

Good book, brutally truthful about the life of slaves and the shameful behavior of southern slave holders. Not crazy about the narration.

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silvia hubbard

I really loved this book, it really makes you think of the power in within ourselves to over most of what life hands us. Sometimes just being alive to make daily choices we all we have based on the lot given to us at birth!

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Gayle martyn

I hated to finish this story...so good! Inspirational and informational. I have take so much of my freedom for granted. This awakened me!

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Kristi Sprague

In the beginning of the book, I wasn't connecting with the characters. But, with time, I was glued to the story and listening whenever I could. This was a wonderful work of historical fiction based on the real lives of two sisters. The narrator was easy to listen to and brought the story to life. This has been my first Audiobook experience. I'll try another, for sure!

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Melissa Herbert

Enjoyed the entire book. The author did a nice job in combining Sara's story and the real account of her life's work with the injection of historical detail.

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jaime olsen

Fantastic reading of a fantastic book. I feel like it changed my life just a little.

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tom Rebelo

slow moving but engrossing narrative about coming to grips with enslavement set in a Virginian plantation. good narrator ...I thought there was two of them ))

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aubrey fisher

I really liked this storey. I felt like I learned something from it. I recommend this to anyone!

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Nelly Navarro-Britt

Great historical fiction book! Reminded me of The Help but in colonial times. True story of first female abolishonist speaker & writer. Author's note at the end tells you what she added to the story.

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Tracey L'Heureux

Love this book. I like how each characters talk about their life,

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Elizabeth Painter

Great rendering of life in the south when our country was very young. Sue Monk Kidd has done it again. I had to take it outside and listen while working in the yard because I did not want to stop reading.

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Laura Brewer

The only unfortunate part of this story was that it ended. Then come to find out that most of the characters were real people. Wow Each chapter reads with a different voice drawing you deeper within the journey of two girls who grow up together yet separated by slavery. I will read this book now that I have listened to it. Wonderful

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Jerome Farrar

What a wonderful read of what the South must have been during its tumultuous period of time before it lit like a fire on a hot summer day. The people from all walks of life during this time and the roles they played, lives they lived, and the changes to our country. A great read and i really, really enjoyed the narration of this book as well.

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shawna vail

It was really good, intersesting historical fiction piece and it makes me want to read more books about slavery in America.

The Invention of Wings: A Novel
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This title is due for release on January 7, 2014
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