The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, Audiobook (CD) | Barnes & Noble
The Invention of Wings

The Invention of Wings

4.2 565
by Sue Monk Kidd, Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
02/24/2014
Kidd’s novel spans more than three decades and follows the lives of “Handful”—a 10-year-old slave living in Charleston in the early 19th-century with the Grimké family—and Sarah Grimké—the remarkable daughter of the house, whom, on her 11th birthday, is given Handful as a gift. Oduye and Lamia share the narration in this audio edition, with the former reading Handful’s sections of the book and the latter handling Sarah’s. Oduye skillfully captures the essence of Handful. Her pacing, tone, and annunciation are just right, and the southern accent she reads with pitch perfect. Lamia turns in an equally enjoyable performance. Her airy narration, steady pacing, and southern accent more than do justice to Sarah. Fans of Kidd’s novel will be delighted. A Viking hardcover. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
Praise for The Invention of Wings
 
“A remarkable novel that heightened my sense of what it meant to be a woman – slave or free . .  a conversation changer.” – Oprah Winfrey, O, The Oprah Magazine
 
“Exhilarating. . .powerful. . .By humanizing these formidable women, The Invention of Wings furthers our essential understanding of what has happened among us as Americans – and why it still matters.” – The Washington Post
 
“A textured masterpiece, quietly yet powerfully poking our consciences and our consciousness . . . leaves us feeling uplifted and hopeful.” – NPR
 
“A searing and soaring story of two women bound together as mistress and slave.” – USA Today
 
“Kidd has managed to avoid both condescension and cliché, creating an unforgettable character in the slave Handful, the emotional core of her utterly engaging third novel.” – The Boston Globe  
                                                                                             
“If this isn’t an American classic-to-be, I don’t know what is. . .this book is as close to perfect as any I’ve ever read.” – The Dallas Morning News
                                                                               
“A powerful story of rebellion and heroism. . .The remarkable courage and hope found in The Invention of Wings is a reminder that we all have those wings – and tells us a lot more about how we got them.” – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
                                                                              
“Kidd has done a marvelous job of capturing two special and vibrant voices. . . I can’t recall reading a book about slavery that presented in such vivid and heartbreaking detail just what the daily life and labor felt like.” – The Minneapolis Star Tribune
                                                                      
“A total revelation. . .the book is balanced by two extraordinary women:  real-life abolitionist and feminist Sarah Grimké and the imagined handmaiden Handful, who nearly leaps off every page.” – Patrick Bass, Essence

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611762525
Publisher:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/07/2014
Edition description:
Unabridged
Sales rank:
173,557
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.90(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

Praise for The Invention of Wings

“A remarkable novel that heightened my sense of what it meant to be a woman - slave or free. . .will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to find her power and her voice. . .Sue Monk Kidd has written a conversation changer.  It is impossible to read this book and not come away thinking differently about our status as women and about all the unsung heroines who played a role in getting us to where we are."—Oprah Winfrey, O The Oprah Magazine
 
“Alternating between Sarah’s and Handful’s contrasting perspectives on their oddly conjoined worlds allows Kidd to generate unstoppable narrative momentum as she explores the troubled terrain that lies between white and black women in a slaveholding society. . ..the novel’s language can be as exhilarating as its powerful story. . .by humanizing these formidable women, The Invention of Wings furthers our essential understanding of what has happened among us as Americans – and why it still matters.”—Margaret Wrinkle, The Washington Post
                                                                             
“Potent. . .Tells a searing and soaring story of two women bound together as mistress and slave. . .a beautifully written book about the awe-inspiring resilience of America’s enslaved people.  It’s a provocative reminder of why slavery’s wounds still scar the country 250 years later.”—Patty Rhule, USA Today
                                                                             
“[An] epic, affecting tale.”—Andrea Walker, People
 
“Masterful. . .in short, provocative chapters we step into the lives of these amazingly brave and stalwart women. . .Wings is a story about empowering women to change the world. . .with historical bedrock as her foundation for a compelling narrative, Kidd serves up a remarkable novel about finding your voice.” —Carol Memmott, The Chicago Tribune
                                                                                 
The Invention of Wings isn’t just the story of a friendship that defies an oppressive society. . .it’s a much more satisfying story of two people discovering together that their lives are worth the fight.”—Jodi Walker, Entertainment Weekly
                                                                                 
“If this isn’t an American classic-to-be, I don’t know what is. . .even after only a few dozen pages, I could tell that this would be one of the best books of 2014. . .this book is as close to perfect as any I’ve ever read.” —Joy Tipping, The Dallas Morning News

“A searing historical novel. . .these two women’s relationship with each other grows more complex while the culture shape-shifts around them.  Their bold individual requests for independence are explored by Kidd in exquisitely nuanced language that makes this book a page turner in the most resonant and satisfying of ways.”More

 

Meet the Author

Sue Monk Kidd is the award-winning and bestselling author of the novels The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair. She is also the author of several acclaimed memoirs, including the New York Times bestseller Traveling with Pomegranates, written with her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor. She lives in Florida.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Charleston, South Carolina
Place of Birth:
Albany, Georgia
Education:
B.S., Texas Christian University, 1970
Website:
http://www.suemonkkidd.com

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