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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 9,488 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 11,823 reviews
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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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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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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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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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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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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on February 22, 2014
This is the Musty Pages Book Reviews. The first book I am going to review is the new Sue Monk Kidd, "The Invention of Wings." I would strongly advise reading the Author's Note at the back of the book before starting on the main reading. There was information there I would have like to have known while I was reading and also informed me about an incredible piece of art that I did not know about (and it's in Brooklyn!)
The story is told in the alternating voices of Sarah Grimke, a plantation owner's daughter, and Handful, a young slave girl who is given to Sarah as an 11th birthday present. As the girls grow older, and Sarah becomes more involved with speaking out in favor of abolition, the tensions and cruelties of life in the South in the early 1800's are vividly laid out. I do not wish to give any of the story away, other than to advise the reader's to pay attention to the bird/flight theme that runs through the book.
Should you choose to read the book on a Kindle, please be aware that this is an Oprah Book Club book and Oprah's comments/notes are right in the text. They are in blue and easy enough to skip.
The only real quibble I had with the book was the end came rather abruptly. There was a very dangerous, tense situation and then oops! Book over. But that was minor. This is definitely an A+ read!
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on June 11, 2017
This is a carefully researched, historical fiction about two sisters that are real and were abolitionists and feminists. The story is also about a real, actual, African American slave associated with the sisters. Most of the details about the slave, " Handful" are lost to history. Sue Monk Kidd wrote a novel about their lives and the people and events with which they were associated. The novel itself is very good. At the end of the novel is an author's note in which she detailed what parts of the book were fiction, etc... I really appreciated that and was glad I waited until the end of the book to read it. This this book is a combination of excellent fiction and is still very educational.

I read this book on Kindle. I have, what I refer to as, a "flawed inner narrator". Therefore I often spend extra money and purchase the accompanying audiobook. I did so in this case and was very glad I did. The audiobook is really excellent. The novel is constructed around the first person narration of two females protagonists. One is a free white lady named Sarah Grimke who is an actual historical figure. The second lady, as described below, is also a real, actual person, however, lamentably, there is little real historical information about her.

The second lady is an enslaved African American lady named "Handful". According to the author there was such a lady, but very little is known about her. There are descriptions of "punishments" (torture) of various African Americans that can only be described as ghastly. While the exact story depicted here is fiction, the acts are drawn from actual histories of slavery. In that context the novel is similar to "Uncle Tom's Cabin".

In any event, the Audiobook has two narrators. They switch back and forth as the novel switches scenes between the two protagonists. Both narrators are really excellent. In the novel Miss Grimke has a speech impediment and her narrator represents that in such a way that really moved me, but would have mostly been lost to my own flawed inner narrator.

I am somewhat embarrassed to confess that I was unfamiliar with Sarah Monk Kidd. The reason I read this book was because it was a book club selection. I am now going to research the author and select another work of hers to read. Thank You...
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VINE VOICEon April 13, 2016
As Sue Monk Kidd was finishing work on her last novel, she was searching for an idea for her next project. She knew she wanted to write about two sisters, and she found them when she ran across Sarah and Angelina (Nina) Grimke, two early proponents of abolition and women's rights. They were among the first women to fight for women's suffrage and certainly among the first Southern white aristocrats in favor of freeing the slaves.

But Kidd is a novelist, not a historian. She read about Hettie Handful Grinke who was given to Sarah Grinke as a birthday present. Handful became a lifelong friend in the novel. The real Hettie died shortly after that birthday. Hettie's mother is a major character in the story. Charlotte is the old Mistress's seamstress. She's also working on a quilt that details her history as a slave, and she's the mistress of Denmark Vesey, whom you Civil War fanatics know led a major slave revolt. Hettie stole a bullet mold for Vesey.

Sarah hates slavery, and she finds her salvation in Quakerism, which leads to her move to the North. Her little sister Nina stays behind, but her mother is driving her crazy. Nina is just as strong willed as Sarah, and she refuses to be confirmed in the Southern church, presumably Anglicanism in this case. Sarah raised Nina; Nina sees her as more of a mother than her real one, and she eventually joins Sarah in the North. One of Sarah's major disappointments as a child was being told by her father and favorite brother, Thomas, that she could never become a lawyer, her major ambition at the time. Once she moved to the North, that ambition changed to the Quaker ministry. In the novel she has a suitor, a widower who wants her to drop the ministry ambition and become a mother to his children. She refuses. In real life, it seems Sarah felt the marriage would interfere with her ambition to become a minister. Meanwhile the sisters are raising hell in the Quaker church. The Quaker leaders want them to pull back on the abolition scenario. Nina writes a letter to William Lloyd Garrison's the LIBERATOR which leads to them being asked to leave the church.

But Theodore Weld, a famous abolitionist who had made a pact with John Greenleaf Whittier to never marry until the slaves were emancipated, breaks the pact when he meets the beautiful Nina whom he'd come to compliment on her letter. Nina refuses to let Sarah go and asks her to live with them.
Among the first to take up women's rights, along with abolition of the slaves, the Grimke sisters resisted efforts by Weld, Whittier and others to concentrate on abolition. As early agitators the Grimke sisters were ahead of the Quakers when it came to freedom for the slaves and ahead of many of the early proponents of equal rights for women. They even tried to vote. They deserve more attention in our history books.
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VINE VOICEon June 13, 2016
The story begins in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 1800's on Sarah Grimke's 11th birthday in which she is given Handful as her very own slave. Sarah wants no part of this and tries to return Handful but is refused and reprimanded. The two become friends, not exactly best friends, but they like each other well enough and Sarah teaches Handful to read and write, a crime during that time period. The novel continues with Sarah narrating one chapter and Handful the next. Sarah is smart and ambitious but her parents soon make clear she will do nothing but marry well and that is all a woman can expect.

Handful's mother, Charlotte, is a prominent character in this story as well. She is a very talented seamstress and she makes a story quilt which details the story of what she had learned from her grandmother "that people in Africa used to be able to fly." Charlotte tells Handful that her shoulder blades are all that are left of her wings but one day you will get your wings back. Charlotte further does little rebellions all the time which get her in trouble and one day she is severely punished for stealing from Mrs. Grimke.

Of course, Sarah Grimke is a well known historical abolitionist who became a Quaker; Handful is made up. Although much of the novel is the retelling of Sarah's life, a lot of it is fiction as well. It is so well written though it will pull you in and not let go. I loved both these characters and Charlotte as well. Of course, it still breaks my heart to read how people were enslaved and how they were treated but this is truly a remarkable book which everyone should read.
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