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The Invention of Wings: A Novel (Unabridged)

by Sue Monk Kidd

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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 liberati...

Customer Reviews

The Invention of Wings

Awesome story based on real people. The story of their life grabs you from the very first chapter. Their voices, their thoughts, their day to day life makes you think of their story long after each chapter. Excellent storytellers. I will definitely look for more books from Sue Monk Kidd.


A beautifully crafted work of historical fiction made better by the voices of Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye. Their performance brought so much spark and life to a wonderful book. Sue Monk Kidd's rich language and dynamic story will keep you engrossed so much that I made excuses to drive just so I could keep listening!

The Invention of Wings

This book is well written and had I known it was based in truth, I would have been more forgiving of when I asked myself, "Where is this going?" I recommend that you stay with this story. It is much more satisfying now that I know the sisters in the story were based in truth. It is a story that requires all readers to think, "Would I have had the courage to act against slavery? Moreover, on a more personal level, do I sale my personal ambitions for the trappings of what is approved by the society I live in?" The audio is VERY WELL DONE!!!!

Sue Monk Kidd, The Invention of Wings: A Novel (Unabridged)
View in iTunes $26.95
  • Narrator: Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
  • Published: 2014
  • Category: Fiction
  • Provider: Penguin Audio
  • Presented by

Customer Ratings