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The Invention of Wings

Oprah's Book Club 2.0 - A Novel (Original Publisher’s Edition–No Annotations)

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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. ...

Customer Reviews

The invention of wings

Excellent blend of fiction and non-fiction. I love books that teach as well as captivate and this one does just that!


When the Secret Life of Bees was published and earned immediate praise from one and all, I purchased and read it immediately and found myself disappointed. At the time, I blamed my disappointment on high expectations and the fact that I opened the book soon after reading one of my favorite books of all time.....the comparison was not favorable. When the Invention of Wings was released, I found myself eager to give Ms. Kidd a second chance, particularly given the various accolades the book received. Unfortunately, I was bored.....bored by the lack of plot and the unsympathetic characters. I made myself finish the novel but I found it impossible to care what happened to either of the protagonists.

Advanced Copy

Was able to read an advanced copy and was absolutely blown away. As with her previous novels the characters are completely developed and the story is all engrossing. Even Charleston in the 1800's seems like its own character. The alternating chapters of Sarah Grimke and Handful is a masterful way to tell this story from two completely opposite and engaging points of view. My favorite character by far is Handful, who is a slave given to Sarah when she is very young. The imagery of this 'gift' is just one of the many visuals that will stay with you long after you finish the book.

If you liked the The Secret Life of Bees then you will like this book. This could easily be the 'it' book of 2014.

Other Books in This Series

The Invention of Wings
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Jan 07, 2014
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Oprah's Book Club 2.0
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings