Tag Archives: The Invention of Wings

Book Club Reflection: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

28 Jul

It’s been a long time since my book club almost universally agreed on a book. We don’t often all like one and we’re usually an even split. I’ll have to remember this book as the one that we all agreed on. We all loved Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings.

We heard they’re making this into a movie (this is listed as ‘In Development’ on IMdB). One of our members was in Charleston a few weeks ago and said they’re going to film it at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston. She said another interesting thing she saw in Charleston was The Citadel, a public military college. She said the Citadel was established to hush the slave rebellion, a fact I could not find on the academy’s website.

The title had a few different meanings to our group. Sarah and Nina are described as the wings at one point but to us, there was a lot more reference to flying on Handful’s side. Her mother talked about the slaves flying away to their freedom which made it to the story quilt. Handful and Charlotte’s favorite pattern was supposed to resemble blackbirds and they would put bird’s feathers inside of the quilts. Wings let someone fly away to freedom

Many liked Handful more than the Grimke sisters. Kidd made up her character and was able to do a lot more with her outside the restrictions of historical accuracy. She was admirable and we liked her direct voice. Kidd used different styles for her characters well. Handful was also very brave. If we’d been stuck in her situation, it was hard for many of us to say we’d do the same thing and rebel the way Handful did.

It seems I was one of few who was surprised Charlotte would return to the Grimke’s. She escaped slavery only to return to it and that shocked me. Others pointed out that she wanted to be back with her daughter and she wanted Handful and Sky to have each other so they could escape. We figured they escaped about 90 miles from the plantation they’d been on to reach Charleston which is incredible with no food or directions.

Someone in our group asked if the church Vesey founded and where Handful was arrested was the same one that was the site of a deadly hate crime last summer. Unfortunately, it was: Emanuel A.M.E. Church.

Sarah remarks that the Graveyard of Failed Hope is an all-female establishment. It’s easy to point out times when the things she wanted were denied to her because of her sex. It must have been hard to want to be a lawyer and see her brother become a lawyer when he didn’t want it. Ironically, he wanted to be a minister and she studied for years to be one. That was not lost on us!

Sarah had her own rebellion, starting with her multiple religious conversions. We found it interesting that one of the most attractive things about Quakerism for her was their anti-slavery beliefs but that they still had a separate bench for blacks. Before Sarah was a Quaker, when she was still Anglican, we loved that she taught Handful and the slave children to read. Kidd explains in her author’s note that this really happened which makes it all the better.

Many of us were surprised with how close abolition and women’s suffrage were tied together. Maybe it did split the issue, but it also seems very necessary when explained through the Grimke’s story. Lucretia Mott is better known as a suffragette than an abolitionist so it was interesting to see her in this first role.

Sarah and Nina had a great relationship. It was very motherly since Sarah took a large part in Nina’s upbringing. Mrs. Grimke was very cruel and Mary took after her mother. We’re glad Sarah taught Nina to be kind. Mary was uneducated and didn’t read and question things so it seems she learned from her mother and all she learned was cruelty.

I picked the book for next month and I have a bad history of picking books everyone likes. Maybe I’ll hit a home run with this one, but not everyone likes John Irving as much as I do.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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WWW Wednesday, 27-July-2016

27 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


PeaceBreaksCurrently reading: I don’t think I read a page of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. This is being a lot slower than I wanted it to be because I am enjoying this book. I like that it’s there when I need it, so I’m actually okay with this.
I’m enjoying 10% Happier by Dan Harris so far. I’m not familiar with Harris as a TV personality so it’s teaching me about him as well as his philosophy. This is reading more like a memoir than a self-help book so far and I like that a bit better. I’m a sucker for a good memoir and I’m open to what Harris is going to say. I think we could all do with being 10% happier.
I’ve only just started Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles. I watched the movie for A Separate Peace last week but I’m not sure the plots will overrun at all. The summary makes me think it will be only the setting so I’m excited to see if any characters reappear.

WingsRecently finished: I rushed through The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd to have it finished by the time my book club met and it was a good read. I liked the historical context and setting a lot and give Kidd a lot of credit for the research she was able to do for the book. I posted my review yesterday so please go check it out!

I also posted a review for The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart last Thursday so please go check that out as well! Please know my rating is for the audiobook and if I’d read it as a coffee table book, I might have rated it differently.

OnePersonReading Next: My next physical book will be In One Person by John Irving. It’s a book club selection and Irving is one of my all-time favorite writers so I’m really excited to read this one. I’ve had the book on my shelf for almost three years and I’m pumped to crack the spine.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (4/5)

26 Jul

I tried to read one of Kidd’s books in high school and couldn’t finish it. Needless to say, when one of her titles was chosen for my book club, I wasn’t thrilled. I was late starting the book because of a book before this that was hard to get through, and I realized on Friday that my group was meeting Monday. Going out-of-town for a wedding over the weekend was complicating things. Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who not only drove while I read, but read out loud to me while I drove. I finished it somewhere in Ohio on our way home.

Cover image via Goodreads

Cover image via Goodreads

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. The writing and topic grabbed me from the beginning. Except for a few middle grade books in grade school, I haven’t read a book about American slavery in a long time. Sarah was a unique voice to contrast with Handful and I liked Kidd’s use of the two viewpoints. There were times when I had to put this novel down because I was so bothered by the scenes of abuse I don’t do well with violent movies and books get into my head even more.

Sarah was great. I didn’t know until someone mentioned it on WWW Wednesday that Sarah Grimke was a real person. I think Kidd did a great amount of research into this woman and her wonderful life. The author’s note shows her use of diaries, letters, and newspapers to gather information about the Grimkes’ lives. I liked how Kidd detailed her stutter and her lifelong struggle to overcome it. That made her very human.

Sarah was my favorite character. That’s not to say anything against Nina or Handful, but I saw the greatest change in Sarah through the book. She found her own voice, literally and figuratively, and became the person she’d always wanted to be. The influence she had on Nina and Handful was wonderful and though she was at some times timid, she was also fearless.

I related to Sarah, which is probably why I liked her best. There are many things that scare me and I try to act fearless like Sarah did. I try not to be afraid before speaking in public or a race. I try to stay strong and be consistent with what I believe in. I sometimes feel like I’m meant to be heard and it can be hard to carry forward but having someone (like Handful) to push me forward and remind me is what can get me through. I respected her persistence.

Sue Monk Kidd Image via Actionable Books

Sue Monk Kidd
Image via Actionable Books

I don’t want to give away too much, but I thought the ending was just perfect. I loved it. Sarah and Handful were both in their elements and their relationship, like Handful says, it’s love but it’s something strong and I thought the ending of the book portrayed that well.

Hearing about Handful’s accident at the Work House was really hard for me. Trying to picture that contraption made me cringe and the imagery of the other woman with a baby and Handful falling were hard. The mother’s little remorse made it even worse. I couldn’t imagine feeling that way toward another human.

 

Doing the right thing is not always easy. Sarah knew it wasn’t going to be simple, but she pushed forward in a lot of things such as her ministry study, touring, and her beliefs. A lot of other people gave up (Judge Grimke) or tried to soften their message to be more palatable. Sarah faced a lot of hardships for her beliefs. She had to leave Israel’s house and wouldn’t return to it because of her dedication to the ministry. She was told never to return to her mother because of her abolitionist beliefs. Sarah did all of this anyway because she was strong and stood up to her values.

Writer’s Takeaway: I love the authors note for historical fiction books. Kidd was candid about who she made up, who was real, and what she changed. I think as a historical fiction writer, you have to make some stuff up, change some things, and cut some things. I think Kidd did a great job with this. She added Handful almost completely and made a great character of her. I don’t think her other edits took the story too far from its roots and I really applaud her for the novel and the story of Sarah.

Enjoyable read that made reading half the book in three days no chore at all. Four out of Five Stars.

This book fulfills the 1800s for my When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd | CravenWild
The Invention of Wings – Sue Monk Kidd | Turn The Page Books
book review: the invention of wings | writeamuck
Book Club Gals Read The Invention of Wings | A Writer of History

WWW Wednesday, 20-July-2016

20 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


10%Currently reading: It was a rough week at work and I didn’t get much of a chance to read. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. We were out-of-town for the weekend and I contemplated taking my eReader with me, but decided against it. Oh well, maybe next week?
I’m really loving The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. The writing is good and I love the evolution of Sarah (the main character) as she figures out her place in life. I hope this one has a happy ending because it seems it could go really really sad.
I was able to start a new audiobook and I picked 10% Happier by Dan Harris. I saw this one win the Goodreads award for nonfiction in 2014 and added it to my TBR then. I’ve been waiting for a chance to read it ever since and now seems like as good a time as any.

Stewart_DB_USA_POB_03_28_13.inddRecently finished: Though I liked it, I don’t recommend The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart as an audiobook. It was too easy to tune out and there’s no plot so it’s hard to become engrossed in it at all. For sure better as a coffee table book.

My review of In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches posted on Thursday. Not a surprise to many of you, but it was not a book for me at all. I explain why in my review but suffice it to say, I won’t be reading any more by this author.
I posted a semi-review of the Jim Kay illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. It was so fun to read alongside Kay’s illustrations. Let me know what you thought of it.

PeaceBreaksReading Next: My plan is still for Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles. I might just pick it up from the library so I’m forced to get to it before another book club selection pops up. It might tempt me to read fast so I can start it! I’ll see about the movie of A Separate Peace as well now that I know there is one.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 13-July-2016

13 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


WingsCurrently reading: I started keeping my ereader at the kitchen table to read a bit of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson during breakfast. I got to read a bit during lunch at work a few days, too. I’m making a bit of progress and still enjoying this one.
While The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart is really interesting, it’s not my favorite audiobook. I talked with a friend of mine on Goodreads about it and he’s reading it like a coffee table book, a bit at a time. I think I’d prefer reading it that way because it’s a lot of information all at once and I wish I could go back and reference some of those cocktail recipes!
I was able to pick up The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd recently. Anything is better than my last physical book but I’m still deciding how I feel about this one. Stay tuned!

DanteRecently finished: I crawled my way through In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches and I’m so glad it’s over. I did not like this book much at all. The modern setting was interesting, but the historical settings of Dante were so dense and hard to read that I struggled with it a lot. I don’t plan to read anything by this author again.

I got my review for Truth & Beauty posted on Monday. It was a really pretty book that I enjoyed. However, reading some of the Grealy family’s reactions to the book are giving me second thoughts. Please check out my review and if you have time to read some of the links at the end, let me know how you feel about them!

PeaceBreaksReading Next: For a physical book, I’d like to finally pick up a copy of Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles. I found out about this sequel when I first started with Goodreads and I’ve been wanting to read it ever since. I was a big fan of A Separate Peace in high school and would love to read more from the author.
For an audiobook, I’ll see about snatching up 10% Happier by Dan Harris. This was a Goodreads Award winner in 2014 that intrigued me and I’ve wanted to read Harris’ advice ever since.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 6-July-2016

6 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Stewart_DB_USA_POB_03_28_13.inddCurrently reading: I used my new eReader and got through a chapter or two of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. It helps that I’m struggling with my current book a lot and needed something to break the monotony so I gave this title a little more attention than I would have otherwise. I’m about 1/3 of the way done with it.
Though there’s more of a plot of In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches, there are still annoyingly long chapters about a religious theory that I hope will tie into the plot, but I’m not sure how. I’m getting tired of it and I really do not like this book. I’ll push through to the end because the modern plot line is interesting, but expect a low rating of this one!
My newest audiobook is The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart. Steward did a virtual talk at my library over a year ago and I’ve been looking for a way to read her book since then. The ebook was a pain because the pages were PDFs and they didn’t come out well on my phone, so audiobook it is!

TruthBeautyRecently finished: I finished Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett over the weekend and really loved it. My review will be up next week but I have to say I’m not tempted to read some other Patchett novels and Lucy Grealy’s books because I feel like I’d have a deeper insight to all of them having read this book. I recommend this one to anyone who loves a good memoir.

No reviews this week because I’ve only finished this one book and took Monday ‘off’ from blogging to celebrate the 4th of July. Stay tuned for next week!

WingsReading Next: The plan is still The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. I should be picking it up soon and it will be a welcome read after I finish Tosches. I hope it’s like being held by my mom after a bad swim meet. Fingers crossed.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 29-June-2016

29 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


TruthBeautyCurrently reading: I think I got through four pages of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. I had been doing a lot of this reading in my phone during my lunch breaks but I had to read for my class a lot in the past weeks. Well, big news here is that MY CLASS IS OVER! I turned my final paper in on Monday and I’m free until August. I can’t tell you all how excited I am about this. I hope I can pick up reading Larson some more during lunch because I really enjoy his writing.
I’m still not a fan of In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches. Almost 100 pages in and there’s been a total of 3 pages devoted to the plot I thought I was going to find and about 25 pages devoted to Tosches talking about why he’s a great writer and what’s wrong in the publishing world. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
I began a new audiobook, Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett. I think this one was recommended to me, but it’s hard to remember who or when. I love memoirs and I haven’t read Patchett yet which I think helps because I come in with no preconceived ideas of what her writing will be like.

IceCreamRecently finished: My ceaseless cravings for ice cream will hopefully stop soon because I finished The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman. I adored this audiobook and the character. I really recommend it to anyone with an interest in historical fiction or business. Gilman touches on both well and it was a great combination. I kept laughing during my runs and making my husband question my sanity.

I posted my review on Monday so please go check it out! This was a 5 Star read for me.

WingsReading Next: The book club met Monday and our next selection is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. I’m tempted to put down Tosches to pick this up and read it first, but with the free time from my class being over, I’m trying to be optimistic about powering through it fast(ish). We’ll see how it goes.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 22-June-2016

22 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


DanteCurrently reading: I thought about reading In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. I had a lot of working lunches last week and didn’t really have the time to pull it out. I might have accidentally gotten an eReader so that might speed things up…
I’m still really enjoying The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman. The audiobook is superb and I’m starting to see the connections between the current lawsuit she’s facing and the progressing memoir toward that point in time. I’m really looking forward to finding out how they converge.
I started In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches and I’m a bit iffy on it. It started off really far from the plot promised and it’s very… blatant? The main characters so far are gruff men who are honest about what they’re doing and feeling and it’s not always comfortable to read.

27 Days_HighResRecently finished: I finished 27 Days to Midnight by Kristine Kruppa! I wish I’d been able to finish it a bit faster, but that’s life. Whatever, haha. School is almost over and I’ll be able to get through these faster. This was a really enjoyable book and I’m really blessed to have been part of the process and watch Kristine grow this book into the great work that it is.

I posted my review on Monday so please go check that out as well!

WingsReading Next: I’ll have to get back to book club books soon. Our next selection is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. I’m excited to say that this will hit the 1800s time period in my When Are You Reading? Challenge so this is a well-timed read for me. I’m not always a fan of such popular book-club-books so we’ll see how this one goes.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!