Are you between 5 and 25? If so, enter the Wicked Young Writer Awards NOW - click here for details...

tudor queens series book price comparison
Search our site
Last Letter from Istanbul by Lucy Foley Read the opening extract of the brand new Lucy Foley book before its publication on 19/03/2018

Reader Reviewed
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of Wings

Literary Fiction   Books of the Month   Family Drama   Historical Fiction   Reading Groups   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Share this book

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

October 2014 Book of the Month.

Divided into two first-person, alternating narration, this is strong stuff. One first person, Sarah Grimke, is the daughter of a rich, influential Charleston family in early 19th century Southern America. The second narrative is Handful, one of their slaves. Sarah and her sister become increasing troubled by slavery. Handful suffers cruelty and indignities. Both women’s stories are passionate. The tale is made stronger by being based on a true story. Sarah and her sister were pioneers of the abolition movement. Handful’s story is fictional but based on the history of so many American slaves. It is very moving. Highly recommended.

If you like Sue Monk Kidd you might also like to read books by Kathryn Stockett, Annie Proulx and Toni Morrison.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. On her eleventh birthday, Sarah, the daughter of a rich plantation owner, is given Handful as her personal slave. She hates the injustice of this, but she is unable to protect Handful from the barbarity of slavery in early 19th-century Charleston. It is only after leaving that Sarah gains independence, and starts working for the abolition movement. On one last visit home, she hopes to gain Handful’s freedom. Organised as a dual narrative showing Sarah’s and Handful’s lives as different but interconnected, the story, based on real historical figures and actual events, is fiction. Beautifully written and rigorously researched, this is an exceptional novel.
~ The Good Book Guide

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title

  • Linda Hill - 'Meticulously researched, beautifully written and emotionally satisfying, The Invention of Wings is a compelling read.' Read full review >
  • Nicola Foster - 'Haunting and compelling with some beautiful prose and powerful imagery, this is a novel that has left a lasting impression on me.' Read full review >
  • Jenny Heardman - 'An inspiring story based on the real-lives of Sarah and Angelina Grimke, early abolitionists and women's rights pioneers. Fascinating and moving...I would highly recommend it.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Musk - 'A sometimes harrowing book about slavery in nineteenth century America but also tremendously uplifting about the hope and resilience of the human spirit in terrible times.' Read full review >
  • Emma Barton - 'This is a powerful story based on factual events surrounding abolitionist sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke and their fight against the horrors of slavery.' Read full review >
  • Doreen McKeown - 'I found this a really thought provoking book, which left me full of admiration for Sarah Grimke - and it's also a good read.' Read full review >
  • Emma Smith - 'Overall a good read with strong characters which will stay with me for a while.' Read full review >
  • Glynis Elliott - 'It was glorious, amazing, sad, thrilling, horrific but most of all uplifting...What a writer to bring this book to life. I doff my cap to you Sue Monk Kidd.' Read full review >
  • Fiona Rothery - 'I enjoyed this novel immensely and would definitely recommend it.  Sue Monk Kidd has a special style of writing which draws you into the novel.' Read full review >
  • Joanne Nuttie - 'This was the most amazing book! Really didn't want to put it down. And will be placed very high in my list of all time favourite books.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Hamid - 'This is a brilliantly written novel, which is well-researched and fascinating in its historical detail. The best book I have reviewed so far!' Read full review >
  • Judi Davies - 'Amazing!.... I didn't want it to end, & yet I wanted to know every detail of their individual struggles for what they believed in. A 'must read'!' Read full review >
  • Susan Wallace - 'Fantastic!  Brilliant! Gripping! Must be read!  I read a lot of books and this is easily the best one I have read this year.  I couldn't put it down.' Read full review >
  • Lesley Hart - 'Sue Monk Kidd's writing touched me profoundly...I cannot praise The Invention of Wings highly enough.' Read full review >
  • Emma Caddick - 'Stunning. Totally stunning. There are too many quotes to quote and chapters to relate - you just have to read it.' Read full review >
  • Xanthe Waite - 'An inspiring read of historical value.' Read full review >


The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd was selected as an Oprah Book Club 2.0 pick on December 10, 2013. From the celebrated author of the international bestseller The Secret Life of Bees comes an extraordinary novel about two exceptional women. 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 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.

About the Author

Sue Monk Kidd

Sue Monk Kidd is the author of the highly acclaimed bestsellers The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair. The Secret Life of Bees was her first novel. Selling over 6 million copies, it has become a modern classic and has been adapted into a feature film starring Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Hudson.

Author photo © Roland Scarpa

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

25th September 2014


Sue Monk Kidd

More books by Sue Monk Kidd
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...


Tinder Press an imprint of Headline Publishing Group


448 pages


Literary Fiction
Books of the Month
Family Drama
Historical Fiction
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



Thanks to Lovereading I have discovered new writers and read books I would never had looked twice at - and enjoyed them.

Angela Rhodes

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

Lovereading takes the guesswork out of finding your next read with "if you like you'll love" and extracts to help with your decision.

Sarah Bruch

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane