The Invention of Wings
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2,400 of 2,485 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2014
I want to add my voice to the legions who are disappointed in this purchase because of the Oprah comments. If I had known the book was going to be formatted this way, I NEVER would have bought it. EVER. Imagine sitting down to read one of your favorite authors, and just as the book is pulling you in, someone interrupts you. And then again. And again. It's HORRID. I wouldn't mind reading Ms. Winfrey's comments once I had a chance to enjoy the book and form my OWN impressions, but this is insulting. It speaks to the enormity of Ms. Winfrey's ego that she thinks her words are as important as the author's. I think Amazon should give all of us disgruntled customers a chance to buy another edition, and "credit" us the amount we spent on this travesty.
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1,597 of 1,652 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2014
I would like to be able to eliminate Oprah's notes. They do not have importance to the interpretation of the text for this reader. Those comments get in the way of being able to read smoothly without interruption. I am really unhappy with the purchase of this e-book. I like the writing of Sue Monk Kidd and wish I had purchased this book in paper so that I could skip over Oprah's notes.
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1,761 of 1,846 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2014
I was able to purchase the Kindle version without Oprah's notes. Search for: The Invention of Wings A Novel Kindle Edition. The version named "The Invention of Wings: A Novel" is clean. Or go to the Oprah Book Club edition and click on the plus sign next to the Kindle Edition in the Formats box, which has the pricing for hardcover, audio, etc. Click on the picture of the book jacket to "Look Inside" to ensure that you are purchasing the copy without underlined passages and blue ink. This version is $11.99 as opposed to $11.24 for the version with Oprah's notes. Thanks to readers who posted this information. I would not have found this version without their help.
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633 of 667 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2014
As soon as I started reading this book I noticed it was riddled with these blue notes which threw me off. After searching around I realized these were Oprah's notes. No where in the title or book cover did I see anything that suggested that this had Oprah's notes in it, so I returned the kindle book right away. I was very disappointed because I really like this author and wanted to read the book that SHE wrote and form my own opinions. Luckily a friend told me how I could get the book without Oprah's notes by pressing on the plus sign when ordering the book and getting the other edition. Now how many people are going to go back and do that, which is a shame, because so far it's a really good book without Oprah's input.
Amaon I'm ashamed at you, you should know better and the ones your going to hurt by doing this is the author because people will be returning ithe book once they figure out what they have or just won't buy it once the word gets out.
I feel bad for the author it really is a good book.
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518 of 550 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2014
I loved this story and I loved the writing. I am moved to explore more of the true story behind it. I wish it was available without Oprah's comments and highlights. It was annoying and difficult to navigate—especially at the beginning. I am a diehard Kindle reader. I have four Kindles, but I would recommend a hardcover edition until an Oprah free edition is available.
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432 of 465 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2014
I wish I could have gotten a kindle copy that didn't have Oprah's notes all over the place. I couldn't care less what Oprah thinks of this or any other book. It was very distracting to have her highlights and notes pop up all the time and then have to struggle to get back the just the regular book. The book itself is wonderful. Just don't get the "Oprah" copy. I know I never will again.
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359 of 388 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2014
Amazing in every way, Sue Monk Kidd manages to excel in storytelling, character, and an inspiring if sorrowful message in her latest, "The Invention of Wings".

Wings is based loosely on the real-life story of Sarah Grimke, a Southern aristocrat whose father is a bigshot judge on South Carolina's Supreme Court, where Sarah wants to be eventually. She is given a slave (Handful) for her 11th birthday, which strikes the little firebrand as something ridiculous. How can someone OWN another person? She doesn't want the "gift" but she's forced to accept.

From there, the story is set in motion and follows the two women as they struggle for a common goal: freedom. Handful, naturally, struggles for her freedom from bondage, and Sarah for her freedom from the misogynist oppression of pre-suffrage era sexism. She's taught how to needlepoint and play piano, but she escapes her constrained existence by getting into her father's forbidden library and dreaming of great things like abolition work.

Kidd does a wonderful job portraying the barbarism of that time in American history and especially the horrid mistreatment of the slaves, graphically detailing whippings and other abuses. She also intertwines the characters beautifully in almost a female version of Huckleberry Finn.

I hadn't read Kidd's first book, but I will go back and read that based on my experience with Wings. I love books that explore deeper ideas than just entertaining plot. Wings explores ideas of freedom, gender roles, race relations, the law, and belief. The only other place I've seen this balance of emotion and ideas is in The Book Thief and the more recent Now and at the Hour of Our Death.

Amazing all around!
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124 of 135 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2014
Oprah's highlights make this unreadable. Instead of the joy that comes from escaping with a good book I found myself getting really aggravated by Oprah's highlights. Does not make sense to spend precious free time being frustrated. Had to stop reading this book. Publisher should offer refunds or exchanges to all of us who had no idea we were buying a book with highlights that interrupt the story. Worst marketing idea ever.
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110 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2014
This is the first time I've read one of Oprah's Book Club books and was dismayed to find blue underlined paragraphs with Oprah'S comments among the pages. I found these distracting and added nothing to the story itself. Monk Kidd did an excellent job of weaving history with a potent story. I would highly recommend this book--but download a copy without the self-serving comments!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2014
I bought the hardcover print edition, and I really enjoyed this book. Although it's written by a white woman, the enslaved people are fully-developed characters written with rich interior lives. And the white people aren't unadulterated heros (as they appear too often in books or movies about this era). The book feels true. I knew of the Grimké sisters before I read this book, but I couldn't have told much more about them than that they were abolitionists. I loved the book because it gave me a rich reading not seen in history books but very close to the truth of actual events. Sue Monk Kidd is an excellent writer, and this book is one that kept me awake past my bedtime. Also really appreciate the postscript where the author tells us what is factual and what is novel invention. It would be great to see a high school literature class use this book as a starting point for exploring the history of that time. Kidd makes the early 1800s in U.S. History come alive.
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