The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of Wings

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The Invention Of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd was selected as an Oprah Book Club 2.0 pick on December 10, 2013.

A stunning new novel focusing on the lives of two extraordinary women, from the celebrated author of the international bestseller The Secret Life Of Bees .

Sarah Grimke 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 that what she does next will unleash a world of trouble. She also knows that she cannot accept control over another human's life as a birthday gift. And so, indeed, the trouble begins ...

A powerful, sweeping novel, inspired by real events, and set in the American Deep South of the early nineteenth century, The Invention Of Wings evokes a world of shocking contrasts, of beauty and ugliness, and of righteous people living daily with cruelty they fail to recognise. Above all, it celebrates the power of friendship and sisterhood against all the odds.

Read Caroline Baum's Review

You know from the very first page that this is an Oprah book. Sure enough she has picked it as her next book club selection and it’s easy to see why. Strong female characters, some based on actual historical figures and some imagined, and an emotionally powerful story about slavery from the author of the bestselling The Secret Life of Bees.

The narrative may have a big theme - slavery - but it has an intimate focus, alternating between two points of view, one a young black slave called Hetty but know as Handful and Sarah, the young white woman she belongs to, and the story spares nothing in brutal detail and has a toughness that saves it from cheap sentiment. It contrasts two forms of oppression: the obscenity of slavery as a public policy, as opposed to tyranny within a family.

The plot is studded with dramatic turning points as it moves to its great climax but also explores the religious underpinning of the abolitionists, in particular the Philadelphia Quaker movement. The combination of big themes and ideas with memorable characters makes this a satisfying and immersive book for the heart and the mind.

About the Author

Sue Monk Kidd is the author of the highly acclaimed bestsellers The Secret Life Of Bees and The Mermaid Chair. Selling over 8 million copies, The Secret Life Of Bees was her first novel, and has become a modern classic. It has been adapted into a feature film starring Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Hudson.

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