The number-one New York Times bestseller from the author of The Secret Life of Bees. The audio edition is a finalist for the Annual Audie® Awards 2015
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
I read and 'listen' to a wide variety of genres but particularly enjoy crime, historical and contemporary writing.
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.
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.
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.
Yes if I had enough time all at once!
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.
to read is one of life's greatest pleasures. to hear (audible) is becoming another! me? retired, female, traveller.
couldn't be bettered
when Handful was "given" as a birthday present.....
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
my emotional reaction was one of wonder - the story a rollercoaster, stayed in my head even when not listening
I have to say that this is without doubt my "read" of the year
Full of wonderful history form a much different perspective. So well done, and read perfectly, I really enjoyed this book.
Both fantastic readers, authentic accents and so well read
The one-legged punishment
Unique, an unusual account of both white and black POV of slavery. Not just another slave story
Too many memorable moments to give just one.
I really liked the use of two readers. Enhanced the telling of this heartbreaking story.
At times very distressing, but told so well that even the most dreadful moments were accessible.
This is truly a wonderful book. I always knew that slavery was disgusting, and this book illustrates this well. However, it is also a book about bravery, belief in oneself and love.
I haven't read a lot of slavery, so perhaps am not the most informed reader - I do more movies - but this really gripped me. And it's very interesting that it's also based on true life. The feminism aspect of it - of women wanted to break away from social convention - was plus too.
Highly recommended! This book tells a gripping story based on fact. It is well written and excellently read. The story is told from two sides throughout, giving it depth of insight.
My favourite character has to be Sarah or Handful... I cannot choose between them.
No I haven't heard these actresses read before, but they did an excellent job.
Many moments moved me – too many to relate. The book ends on an open note and I am left wondering what happened to Hetty and Sky. My favourite version is that they reached freedom, but it seems unlikely.
The author's epilogue was helpful in explaining how much of the story was true and how much was fiction.
I enjoyed every moment listening to this book it was made even better knowing that the characters although partly fictional were based on real people.
If you enjoyed The Help or the colour purple you will enjoy this. The performance of the narrators was excellent and gave life to the story and all the different characters.
gripping moving story
Handful, I cried with her.
The voices are perfect, the way they speak matches the characters so well.
A truly wonderful book, the second I have listened to by this author. I had to find excuses to get time on my own to enjoy as much as possible. I found myself not getting out of the car once arriving at my destination so I could listen to just a little more!
Say something about yourself!
I got this as in Top Ten New York bestsellers. I felt the narration was good and added to the story. I had never heard of Sarah or Nina and their role in the push for abolition of slavery.It was interesting the way that the story is told in turn by Handful and Sarah. I did feel that it dragged a bit and Sarah especially with her supposed high intellect was very annoying at times with the things and situations she accepted. I did enjoy the book and would recommend it but would not be in my top 10 reads.
"Those Ahead Of Their Time"
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.
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.
The whole book moved me.
I loved The Secret Lives Of Bees but this was even better.
"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.
I adored this book. A beautifully written story loosely based on real events. Beautifully read. A story about real people and their treatment of slaves in the early 18th century. While their was cruelty, this is a beautiful story of the lives of two sisters and the slaves their family owned. Going against the status quo they fight for the freedom of slaves and for women's rights in a world dominated by men.
Although parts were brutal and stirred a lot of discomfort in me due to cruelty that was inflicted in the slaves , I did enjoy this book immensely.
I loved the author speaking at the end of the book. This gave insight into which facts were fictional and non fictional. A must read !
"Wonderful audio book!"
Yes highly recommended. The narrator adds so much to this book…..I don't think it would be so captivating if I read it myself. I was taken back into the time and place by listening to the accounts of Sarah and Handful. There were some powerful themes in the story and yet it was not dense - it was easy listening.
I loved the City of Bees by same author and narrators, for the same reasons.
Made it real and captivating….and often very disturbing.
Many moments moved in this book and left me disturbed and inspired.
"Sue Monk Kidd, when is your next book?"
Absolutely loved it. I was enthralled from beginning to end. A can't put it down book and a must read.
"Very enjoyable listen"
Based on truth, this story about slavery and the two sisters who campaigned against it, is a most enjoyable read. Hard to listen to, in parts due to the cruelty the slaves had to endure. It is, however an uplifting book about friendship and loyalty.
Loved the story and the dual narrators...exactly the right choice for an audiobook. THIS is the book that should have been made into the movie and won the oscars, NOT the overhyped "Twelve Years..." The author's appendix was an unexpected bonus and made me want to research further into the work of the Grimky (sp?) sisters.
"Excellent in all aspects."
The narration is superb, it made the book even more powerful. The story is at time heart rendering, making one wonder how humans can possibly be so cruel. The strength of the main characters is amazing. I re read the book straight away.
"Eye opener for life in the South."
Yes I would listen to it again - I have now classified this as one of my favourite books.
yes, but I had to listen over a period of time.
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