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Publisher's Summary

From the celebrated author of the international best seller The Secret Life of Bees comes an extraordinary novel about two exceptional women.
Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah's eleventh birthday, Hetty 'Handful' Grimke is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift.
Sarah knows what she does next will unleash a world of trouble. She also knows that she cannot accept. And so, indeed, the trouble begins ...
A powerful, sweeping novel, inspired by real events, and set in the American Deep South in the nineteenth century, The Invention Of Wings evokes a world of shocking contrasts, of beauty and ugliness, of righteous people living daily with cruelty they fail to recognise; and celebrates the power of friendship and sisterhood against all the odds.
©2014 Sue Monk Kidd (P)2014 Headline Digital
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Sara on 03-29-14

Those Ahead Of Their Time

What did you love best about The Invention of Wings?

Both the theme of people able to see right from wrong against all odds in the society they have been brought up in and in spite of it ostracizing them within their family, friends and community at large, along with the strength and endurance of the spirit during unspeakable circumstances.

What did you like best about this story?

The truth.

What does Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

They both narrated beautifully but I particularly love to listen to Jenna Lamia; I've heard her narrate before and she is mesmerising. If I had read the book instead it would have been fabulous but I would have missed out on the pleasure of hearing both of their lovely voices.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The whole book moved me.

Any additional comments?

I loved The Secret Lives Of Bees but this was even better.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Emma on 04-17-15

fabulous story and narration

The writing was lovely and the story interesting, made more so that it is based on a true story of two Southern sisters who spent their lives campaigning against slavery and for the rights of women.

the performance of both barrators was superb as they truly brought the story to life.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By AmyAlice on 09-19-14

The Invention of Wings

Would you listen to The Invention of Wings again? Why?

Yes - the story is based on true events during the lead up to the US Civil War. It is told from 2 points of view, a slave girl and the child she is 'given' to who is age 11. This young girl Sarah is bright, thoughtful and sensitive. Her abilities are stifled by the over-riding desire of her parents for her to fit into society.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Invention of Wings?

This is difficult to answer without giving away the story. The story swings from the pampered world of the plantation owners who lack all humanity towards their slaves and the slave quarters themselves. The exception is the young daughter, Sarah, who understands, intrinsically, that slavery is wrong. She has to live within the South's society all the while hating what it stands for. Eventually she leaves for the North leaving young Handful behind. Meanwhile we watch Handful grow up, see her hopeless situation and witness her mother's brutal punishment for running away. Of course with Sarah in the North Handful begins to think there may be a chance for her to reach freedom too.

What about Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye ’s performance did you like?

The performances are well done and sound distinct from each other. The characters of Sarah and Handful are very different so having varying voices helped. The character of Sarah has a speech problem and this was handled well, Meanwhile Handful's strength and endurance comes through her 'voice' too.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes if I had enough time all at once!

Any additional comments?

Sue Monk Kydd is a consistent author and with this book she is definitely hitting high standards. I had no idea that Sarah and her sister , Nina, were real people.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By sunflower on 07-07-14

Mindblowing

If you could sum up The Invention of Wings in three words, what would they be?

couldn't be bettered

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Invention of Wings?

when Handful was "given" as a birthday present.....

What about Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye ’s performance did you like?

Their emotions, their interpretations, their warmth in the words, that me as the listener actually felt, breathed, imbibed the South, thru their words and accents

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

my emotional reaction was one of wonder - the story a rollercoaster, stayed in my head even when not listening

Any additional comments?

I have to say that this is without doubt my "read" of the year

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Alison on 05-24-15

The era of slavery

I enjoyed listening to this reading. It was narrated by two great readers, who brought the diary entries to life.
It was interesting to listen and learn about some of the first women who were brave enough to speak out about slavery and women's rights.
A great listen...

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Sam on 05-04-15

Fantastic story and great narration

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the book The Help.
I liked learning at the end it was based on facts.
The narration is great and engaging.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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