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June 2014 - THE INVENTION OF WINGS

Due to my cancellation of April's book club, I have rescheduled THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd.

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.


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  • Millie M.

    Very enjoyable meeting, thanks, Susan...

    June 6, 2014

  • Debra

    This was my first time and everyone was welcoming and so nice. I am looking forward to next meeting

    1 · June 5, 2014

    • Susan

      I'm so glad you were able to join us! Thanks for participating in the meeting and I look forward to seeing you in August (have fun in France!).

      June 6, 2014

  • Diane M.

    Good meeting. I agree with Selma, your humor is so refreshing.

    1 · June 6, 2014

  • SELMA R.

    Interesting, intelligent and thought provoking. Love your humor Susan. Have a great vacation.

    June 6, 2014

  • SELMA R.

    As usual, interesting, intelligent and Susan, love your humor. Have a great vacation.

    1 · June 6, 2014

  • Stella R.

    Susan, I didn't read the book, I am working @ NYU until 6pm. I'd like to stop by anyway, however long it takes for me to get home. OK?

    June 5, 2014

  • Regina S.

    I just finished her last book , The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and it really pulled me in.

    June 2, 2014

  • barbara

    I would like to suggest author Alice Hoffman. Her prose moves my spirit and I find it difficult to articulate why. Perhaps the group would enjoy discussing her method and message!

    April 3, 2014

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