The Invention of WingsSue Monk Kidd

The Invention of Wings

4.5 star

Total 3,298 Ratings

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd Book 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. ...

The Invention of Wings (Sue Monk Kidd) Book Reviews

LOVED!!!I was not looking forward to reading this considering it was a summer reading book and a good amount of the time, the books we are forced to read are horrid but this book was fantastic! Its a must read :).Score: 5/5

Invention of WingsI truly enjoyed this book. A very captivating story and very well told. It's one I'll read again and share with others..Score: 5/5

Slow starterThe last third of the book was the best. Slow moving in the middle. The best parts it felt like the author rushed through, yet she gave lots of detail in areas I found insignificant. Overall I enjoyed reading, but the very end was another rushed part I wish the author has fleshed out more. Worth reading..Score: 4/5

Hard to put down!The book is well researched, vividly detailed, and engrossing to the point that I hated to put it down. The characters come to life on the pages...and you feel their pain and struggling every step of the way. The author does a great job of mixing facts and fiction - but the factual part of slavery and woman's inequality are difficult to read at times because its such a dark period of American history. This was a great book and I have a newfound admiration and respect for Sarah and Nina Grimke and all they accomplished..Score: 5/5

Great weaving story of historical figureAbsolutely loved this book. I loved the way the author weaved the characters and the time progression. Sad to finish it..Score: 5/5

The Invention of WingsA wonderful story that will capture your attention and your heart from the first words. You will not be able to put this wonderfully told story down. I could not wait to see what Sarah and Handful were up to chapter by chapter. Worth every minute of your time!.Score: 5/5

The Invention of WingsVery interesting story. Two, courageous sisters who were almost lost in history. New insights on slavery never fail to horrify me..Score: 4/5

StirringAs an historical novel, this is informative about the details of life for women and slaves in the early 1800's. As a work of art, it is a stirring story of brave women struggling to shape their lives in the midst of oppression. The title is a marvel. The women protagonists invented their ways of flying to freedom..Score: 5/5

TerribleNot worth picking up..Score: 2/5

About about strong womenThe Grimke' sisters are to be admire in this partially history book. More than that I admire the courage and bravery of the slaves who held on to their self worth In spite of their situation in life..Score: 4/5

Loved it!Such a wonderful story! Thank you!.Score: 5/5

The Invention of WingsThe rich history of our past came alive as I read. Thank you to this author for so skillfully telling this story and giving life to the characters..Score: 5/5

The Invention of WingsI enjoyed this book immensely, drawing me into the drama of both Sarah and Handful. After the story is told, I then got the incredible factual account of these women and the others involved in their lives. This is a story that would be amazing on the big screen, bringing a true account to a larger audience of what was gone through during the anti-slavery movement. Beautifully written, thank you to the author for writing this..Score: 5/5

EnjoyableThis was a delightful read. Compelling, with enough depth to keep you interested yet not so much that the story gets lost in the details. Believable? Not really, but who reads only what is believable. Everyone wants to have a little fantasy and root for the underdog..Score: 4/5

The Invention of WingsSo glad I didn’t pass this powerful book by. Highly recommend this heart wrenching powerful story. We need more women today like the Grimke sisters..Score: 5/5

One of my all-time favoritesThis book is so captivating and so beautifully written, I found it hard to put it down from the moment I started reading it. Definitely a must-read!.Score: 5/5

TouchingThis book was a truly incredible read. I loved every moment I spent reading it..Score: 5/5

Great readI really liked The Secret Life of Bees & then tried to read The Mermaid chair... Didn't like it. So, I was a bit reluctant with this book. Well, I loved it! It drew me in and I loved the views of both Hattie & Sarah. Great read!.Score: 5/5

Beautiful, brilliantThe characterization is superb. An unforgettable story —it will stay with you long after you read the last page..Score: 5/5

Truly A Literary Masterpiece!Sue Monk Kidd has welded fact and fiction to enormous wonder and utter genius! This story is truly magnificent! This will be a greAt movie! The Grimke sisters were true pioneers and paved the way for where women are today!.Score: 5/5

Everyone read this regardless of genderI cannot stop singing the praises of Sue's book. This is what is needed in the world today to show my peers and upcoming ladies those before us had to endure, and what women of different backgrounds had to fight for so we could have equal footing with men in our society. This book has encouraged me to learn about and support feminism in such a positive way. This story is simply spectacular in scope and utterly mind-blowing..Score: 5/5

Inspiring and thought provokingA look at slavery and the historical period in a most interesting way. I was emotionally caught up in the characters. It was easier to understand the topic and opinions around slavery at that time. The multiple perspectives and the intertwining of historical data was an excellent approach. If I was a teacher of US history I would require this book. A must..Score: 5/5

The Invention of WingsThis was wonderful, sad and touching. Would highly recommend..Score: 5/5

The Invention of WingsThis story became a film before my eyes! I loved reading it and became enthralled with the characters real and fiction. Slavery was an abomination that scarred this nation with facts that continue to make the offspring of slaves stronger and prouder with each revelation of how their ancestors survived such atrocious treatment and conditions..Score: 5/5

Could not put it down!Amazing read! This historical fiction was a perfect blend of fiction and fact. From the first page, I was engaged and felt connected with both characters. This is a genre I normally do not read, but am very happy that I made the purchase..Score: 5/5

Inspired to learnThis book makes me want to dive headfirst into history about women. Sure wish I would have been able to read this in high school. I believe it would have made me thirsty for history..Score: 5/5

Beautiful prose, fascinating storyI loved Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Secret Life of Bees” so I knew I would love this book too. I was not disappointed. I didn’t really care what the story was about, I purchased this book just on the strength of the author’s previous books. I was surprised to find, once I read the author’s notes at the end of the book, that this was a work of historical fiction that revealed quite a bit of fact. I did recognize some of the names in the story, but I thought it was coincidence. In fact, the two sisters who were the main protagonists were quite famous women in their own right in pre Civil War days. Their slave, Handful, was also a real person, though Monk Kidd expanded her role to beautifully tell the full story. This story brings not only the Grimke sisters to light, but also forces each of us to question our personal roles when injustice of any kind raises its ugly head. Could I be as brave as either of the Grimke sisters or Handful? We are not so far from this chapter in American history that it is not completely relevant to our choices dealing with the social ills we face today. It is not a preachy book but it is a book that demands more of the reader than just enjoying wonderful prose in a fully realized story arc..Score: 5/5

The Invention of WingsPerfect combination on fiction and nonfiction. Great depiction of history. This novel was educational through story telling.....kept my attention. A great read!.Score: 5/5

Awesome simply amazingThis book brought me to tears! Such a great read!.Score: 5/5

The Invention of WingsThis truly was the best book I've read in a long time. Really puts a true perspective on what life was like for females and slaves in the early 1800's and shows how far we have come as a country since then for all of mankind..Score: 5/5

Great story tellingI was interested to learn that much of this book is factual. Although the subject matter is at times gruesome, it is a superbly written story with captivating characters. Highly recommended!.Score: 5/5

Invention of wingsGreat book. Needs to be a movie asap so more people will know of the Grimke sisters, but more importantly, the horrible suffering of black people in slavery..Score: 5/5

Wonderful BookThis was an excellent read. The setting, the history, and the characters were so interesting that the book was hard to put down. I didn't realize until the end that the story was based on real people, which made it even more relevant. I have enjoyed reading Sue Monk Kidd's books and this one is my favorite, so far..Score: 5/5

Good readIt was a good story, I now want to learn more about Sarah..Score: 4/5

Exceptional !I could not put this book down. Wonderful story along with historical happenings..Score: 5/5

Beautifully written but sorrowfulThe author does a wonderful job of expressing the horror of slavery in the south from more than one perspective. An excellent story that has richly written characters and is so enjoyable to read, despite the difficult subject matter..Score: 4/5

Deep and troubling novelWith beautiful prose and a foundation of great research, Ms Kidd keeps us in suspense about every turn of events in antebellum Charleston and later in the North. What a tortuous life the slaves had, and the Grimke family torn by their customs and heart strings..Score: 5/5

Great accountI've always loved Sue Monk Kidd and this book as amazing as all her other books. She gives a soul and voice to an important part of our history. Reading her note at the end and learning the Grimke sisters were real made this book more important and I look forward to sharing it with everyone..Score: 5/5

Windshear for these WinfsThis is an awful book from start to finish. Shortcuts taken to unfold a past as complicated as Americas relationship with slavery place current day values on 19th century norms. I turned page after page without reading more than a sentence....hoping for a glimpse of a great and thoughtful novel..Score: 2/5

Great readA well thought out novel of fictional and non-fictional proportions. Extremely easy to read and draws you in almost immediately.mi must honestly say I couldn't put it down and read it in just a few days..Score: 5/5

The Invention of Wings.Deeply interesting and remarkably written..Score: 5/5

The Invention of WingsGrowing up in a suburb on the west side of Chicago, slavery was an abhorrent subject we studied in history class, learned that the Civil War was fought over it, but fortunately, never experienced first-hand. I was always glad I grew up as a Northerner whose ancestors never participated in slavery. In fact, my parents’ families struggled through the Great Depression, with several family members out of work, losing homes, stuffing paper in the bottom of shoes that were too small for them, and feeling fortunate to have hand-me-down clothes to wear, even if they didn’t fit or were shabby. Reading this book was an excruciating experience in how inhumane some people could be to other human beings, just because of the color of their skin. Although the Bible describes slavery going back to Noah, it is difficult to believe such inhumanity could be inflicted on people in America. Yet, it happened. While this is a story of fiction, the lives of the characters are so vivid, their experiences so brutal, the trauma so real, the story will permanently alter my perspective of history. This is no longer a subject learned in class, but a national tragedy..Score: 5/5

Totally absorbingIf you’ve ever lived in Charleston or walked its streets, you had to have wondered what the city was like during its plantation days. Sue Monk Kidd takes you into that time with two perspectives: that of Sarah, the daughter of a judge high in the realm of Charleston society, and that of the slave that is given to Sarah on her 11th birthday. This is an unblinking portrait of actual slave life and the dilemma that the real person of Sarah Grimke had to face when she realized that she could not be part of the society- or the family - that treated human beings in such an inhuman way. It is fascinating, horrifying, terrifying and uplifting all at once. I’m still shaking my head at the bravery of the Grimke sisters. An incredibly well-told tale that you’ll not forget..Score: 5/5

Inspirational moving and geniusThis story moved me beyond words. Slavery may have been abolished and everyone can vote but the fight for equality is absolutely not over!.Score: 5/5

The Invention of WingsGreat book!.Score: 5/5

AmazingI couldn't put this book down, it was so good I I didn't want it to end!!.Score: 5/5

Courageous reminderThis was more than a peek into two opposing Southern lifestyles. It was a reminder that the determined spirits of a few can inspire so many, even today's reader. This was the best Christmas present I received, and I plan to share it with others..Score: 5/5

One of the best books I have ever readThis book is enormously compelling, moving, and hard to put down. The characters are so real and relatable and the writing is vivid and artful. I didn't know until the postscript that it is based on real people. I am going to give this to my daughter's teacher and encourage her to teach the book. That's how important the story is, but honestly if it was entirely fictional it would still be one of the best books I've ever read..Score: 5/5

Historical fiction strikes a chord in today's current eventsOnce I got into this book, I couldn't put it down. A fascinating tale based on real events that brings to life the horrors of slavery in a way I had not previously experienced. The church depicted in the book started by slaves was the same one that the shooting occurred at earlier this summer. Clearly the work that was began by the Grimke sisters and other abolitionists has not yet been completed..Score: 5/5

Great bookCaptivating book about pre civil war Charleston and life on a plantation with slaves. Be sure to read the author's note after the story as it gives more insight into the book's characters. Will read more of Sue Monk Kidd's novels..Score: 5/5

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A wonderful readAfter attempting to read so many terrible books, it took me 2 years at least to get my passion for reading back. I purchased this book as it was the next in our book club and was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I am so glad that I have broken the cycle of lost interest in reading. This is a wonderful story that keeps you reading. I hate Guly recommend it..Score: 5/5

Great Fact/fiction novelVery well written story on a very difficult subject!.Score: 4/5

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The Invention Of Wings
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