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Review and giveaway: The Invention of Wings

April 1, 2014

The Invention of Wings

Sarah Grimké is the daughter of a wealthy Charleston family and, as such, is given Handful as her own servant on her eleventh birthday.  Even though young Sarah has been raised in a family and society that depends on slaves, she’s appalled at the idea of owning another human being.  Both Sarah and Handful long for a different life and the two become close.  Their relationship changes as they grow older but the two have a great influence on each other for years to come.

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd, is simply marvelous!  The story is told in turns by Sarah and Handful and I was enthralled with it and both of its protagonists from beginning to end.

Sarah was quite smart and yearned for knowledge and a better world.  Even though she was held back by her gender, she did what she could to make the world a better place.  She was determined and forthright and I admired her spunk.

Handful is smart and talented.  She looks after Sarah and is also being taught sewing by her talented mother.  Both she and her mother long to be free but struggle to find a way out of slavery.

The storyline follows Sarah and Handful for thirty five years and what a journey it is!  It is both heartbreaking and heartwarming and really made me think.  I found a lot to talk about as I read the book so it would make a fabulous book club selection.

There’s an author’s note at the end of this book that is a must read.  In it, Kidd reveals that Sarah Grimké was a real person and tells about her research into her life.  It was almost as fascinating as the book.  I had to do a little research on Sarah myself after I learned she was real.

I listened to the audio version of The Invention of Wings and it’s capably narrated by Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye.  I’m usually a stickler for accents so I’m going to point out that I didn’t think their Charleston accents were quite right but, for once, it didn’t bother me at all.  I was captivated by the story and their narration and hated for the book to end.  The audio book is on twelve CDs and lasts approximately thirteen and a half hours.

Thanks to the folks at Penguin, I have 2 copies of the audio version of The Invention of Wings to give away.  To enter to win an audio copy of THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd, simply fill out the entry form.  Contest is open worldwide– one entry per person, please.  I will use random.org to determine the winner.Contest ends at midnight EST Tuesday, April 8, 2014.    Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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26 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2014 8:02 am

    I don’t need to enter because I already read it, but I agree it is a marvelous book!

  2. techeditor permalink
    April 1, 2014 8:31 am

    I have a different take on this book than most other people. In spite of all the wonderful reviews of THE INVENTION OF WINGS, for me, it got off to a bad start. Although this is a story that involves two historical characters, sisters who were abolitionists and who also spoke up about women’s rights, the author chose to devote half of the book to the childhoods of one of the sisters and her slave. If you, like me, prefer books that grab you and won’t let go, this didn’t seem to be it.

    At least many of the characters in the second half really did exist. And Sue Monk Kidd wrote an interesting Afterward in which she explains what is fact and what is fiction. So don’t just stop when you finish the story; read this Afterward. The story will mean more to you if you do. And you will know which reviewers read it and which skipped it. For example, many will say that the story of Handful, the slave, was based on an actual person. Not true says Kidd.

  3. April 1, 2014 9:23 am

    I’ve heard of this new book but didn’t know the back-story of it. Thanks for sharing. I will enjoy the tale even more knowing that it is based on fact and am looking forward to it.

  4. April 1, 2014 9:48 am

    I already have this in mp3 and am looking forward to listening to it. It does sound like a possibility for my bookclub too.

  5. April 1, 2014 11:55 am

    I have the book sitting on my shelf, but wasn’t sure when I’d get to it. After reading your post, I’m definitely picking it up NOW!!! This story sounds fantastic – I’m so excited to read it 🙂

  6. April 1, 2014 12:05 pm

    This book will be on my favorite reads list of 2014.

  7. Patty permalink
    April 1, 2014 12:45 pm

    It sounds so good!

  8. April 1, 2014 1:11 pm

    I’m really interested in this book. I have yet to try an audio book, so maybe this will be my first.

  9. April 1, 2014 1:13 pm

    I’d love to listen to this audio book! Kathy, thanks for hosting this great giveaway. I’ll add it to my list of current giveaways.

  10. April 1, 2014 4:51 pm

    I’ll read anything she writes!

  11. April 1, 2014 6:18 pm

    This title is on my Kindle in the audible version. I am looking forward to listening now, though I don’t do much with audible on my Kindle. I think maybe a new set of ear buds would help. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and recommendation.

  12. April 1, 2014 7:15 pm

    I’ve heard such good things about this book. How generous.

  13. April 1, 2014 7:50 pm

    I cannot wait to start this one. I loved her Secret Life of Bees and expect this to be just as marvelous!

  14. April 1, 2014 8:54 pm

    i loved this one as well and found the Afterward to make it an even better novel! was so fascinating to learn Grimke was a real life person! Lovely review!

  15. April 1, 2014 10:33 pm

    I liked this a lot, too! Read it in print, but it sounds like a great audio!

  16. April 2, 2014 12:10 am

    I’ve read many reviews of books by this author but never actually got to read one. This sounds very good.

  17. April 2, 2014 12:21 am

    This sounds like an audio book I would enjoy.

  18. April 2, 2014 8:03 am

    lovely review

  19. April 2, 2014 10:23 am

    I have the audio of this, too. Now to find time to read it!

  20. April 2, 2014 11:41 am

    A friend just finished this book and told me I HAD to read this book. She was so taken with the story that, now with your confirmation, I really MUST read this book.

  21. April 3, 2014 8:53 pm

    Glad you enjoyed this one! I’m eager to listen soon- Jenna Lamia is a great performer. It’s a sign of a good book when you kind of forget about the narration and just get lost in the story. You make this sound great!

  22. Beth F permalink
    April 4, 2014 8:01 am

    I *loved* this one in audio.

  23. April 5, 2014 1:54 pm

    I’ve been curious about this book, so I’m glad to see you loved it. 🙂

  24. bookingmama permalink
    April 8, 2014 7:27 am

    I just finished listening to this one a few weeks ago and thought it was terrific. Loved the author’s note at the end too!

  25. April 15, 2014 7:56 pm

    I enjoy fictional stories base don real people; this one looks really interesting.

  26. April 18, 2014 6:45 pm

    I don’t need to enter because I’ve read it, but I really really liked this one! I couldn’t believe I had never heard of the Grimke sisters before! -beth

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