The Invention of Wings

The Invention of Wings

Book - 2014
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"The story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. "The Invention of Wings" follows the next thirty-five years of their lives. Inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist), Kidd allows herself to go beyond the record to flesh out the inner lives of all the characters, both real and imagined"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2014.
ISBN: 9780143121701
Branch Call Number: FIC/KIDD
Characteristics: 373 pages ; 25 cm


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Jul 07, 2017

The story of Sara, Nina and Handful evolves around a background of slavery in the U.S. Their lives evoke feelings of rage and revulsion over the absolute misery that these people endured. Historical fact, intermingled with fiction, makes an excellent read. Would recommend it to anyone who wishes to look back on this issue.

Apr 11, 2017

I love a fictional tale wrapped around a real life situation and I thought this one was well researched, powerful and engrossing. I learned so much from this book and enjoyed every minute of it.

Mar 26, 2017

Kidd presents two perspectives of 19th century slavery in the Deep South through the alternate voices of young Handful, the child-slave of silver-spoon-in-her-mouth Sarah, the child-owner of Handful. Through them we see the brutal cruelty that held slaves as non-humans, and the dependency of Whites on the system to ensure their wealth and power. The story absorbed me with its continual unfolding growth of the main characters, the conflicted plot line, and Kidd’s lovely imagery.

Librarian_Deb Feb 24, 2017

Sarah Grimke is given a slave girl - Handful - as a birthday present on her 11th birthday. Even though Sarah has grown up on a plantation in the South where slavery has always been a part of her life, she recoils from the present. Even though she doesn't want a slave and is opposed to the very idea of slavery, she finds that there is no way she can give Handful back or free her. Sarah and Handful alternate telling the story of their lives, which are forever connected by this strange master/slave bond. One of the interesting parallels in the book is to see the relationship that each of them has with her mother. Handful is close to her mother, yet throughout the books he finds our more and more secrets about her mother's life--secrets that were often hidden from her to protect her from awful realities. She ends up drawing a lot of inspiration from her mother's strength and courage. Sarah's relationship with her mother is very strained however, as her mother wants her to grow up to be the typical southern woman and Sarah chooses instead to be an abolitionist and a Quaker. There are hints though that her mother is only trying to get Sarah to accept the limitations that women faced at that time, and that she fears that Sarah will have a hard life is she tries to buck the system.
This was a great book for discussion, and our book discussion group had an engaging talk about the many issues it covered. Sarah Grimke was a real person and she and her sister Angelina were abolitionists, public speakers, and authors. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was learning about them and their place in history as they pushed the boundaries of what women were allowed to do during that time period. I definitely recommend this novel to anyone interested in history, racial relations, and how slavery affects human relationships.

Jan 13, 2017

This book was beautifully written and so well researched. I enjoyed learning about the Grimké sisters and even found myself getting attached to the characters of this book. The author rounds each character very well and gives them each such a unique personality. I greatly appreciate the reality of the times in which these accounts take place, meaning I'm grateful that Kidd did not beautify or romanticize the issues at hand for the sake of making her readers comfortable. Would definitely recommend!

Jul 29, 2016

This is a well researched and written book. It is one of those books that inspired me to seek more information immediately about these fascinating women when I had finished it.

Jun 26, 2016

I have read her first book, The Secret Life of Bees but not her second. I picked this up for free and had a hard time putting it down! Sue does a really good job creating characters you believe lived in that time that are really human and yet complex.

LoganLib_Adults Jun 21, 2016

Brilliant writing again from the author of, The Secret Life Of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd.
An amazing historical fiction novel about the early female voices of the abolition of slavery and women's rights in the United States of America.

Jun 02, 2016

Excellent read.

May 01, 2016

In this entertaining novel about slavery in the American south, Sue Monk Kidd describes a cautious relationship between a young slave and her equally young owner. Eventually, Sue Monk Kidd creates fascinating parallels between slavery and woman's (lack of) rights at the time. Many who read this book are unaware that the story and the characters are based on historical women who were active abolitionists originally from South Carolina.

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Aug 19, 2015

biographical fiction, 11 yr old given a slave. Story over 35 yrs.

mathmami Jun 21, 2014




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