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Publisher Description

The newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection: this special eBook edition of The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd features exclusive content, including Oprah’s personal notes highlighted within the text, and a reading group guide.


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.

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.

Go to Oprah.com/bookclub for more OBC 2.0 content

Fiction & Literature
January 7
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Janpeg ,

Medford, Oregon

I like the idea of the writer being inspired by real-life people! I learned more about the beginnings of abolitionIsts; I wanted the story to move faster and Handful & Charlotte to be freed sooner... but Sue had other ideas which made the story even more a mystery. Very good; I enjoyed the book very much!

ElisePie ,

Stars for the version, not the book

Make sure you want Oprah's thoughts on this book before you buy this version. Large passages are highlighted in purple with green "O"s following. I am unable to select anything within these highlighted passages without jumping to Oprah's endnote. I made it to page five of this madness and am buying the non-Oprah version.

rainbowcat5 ,


Historical fiction at its best

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