The Invention of Wings
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Published by: Penguin Audio
Date Published: Jan 2014
Format: Digital Audio
Narrated by: Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Audiobooks have been my preferred reading format for about 5 years now, and I probably listen to at least 30 audiobooks a year, but it is rare that I come across an audio so beautifully narrated and a story so deeply stirring that it leaves me feeling like anything I can say about it will be inadequate.
The Invention of Wings was a powerful story of a turbulent time in history and that was conveyed in the brilliant narration by Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye. The story alternates points of view from Sarah Grimke and a slave on her parents' plantation named Handful. Lamia and Oduye brought the story, the people, and the places to vivid life. I was so immersed in their narration that I felt like I was sitting on the porch of the South Carolina plantation house sipping sweet tea and hoping for a breeze while watching all of this play out.
I didn't know before reading that The Invention of Wings was based on the true story of Sarah Grimke and her sister. Beginning from Grimke's early childhood, Wings shows how she struggled to come to terms with a system that she couldn't accept and to somehow find her own place in the world, going against all convention and expectations for women in the deep south. Handful's story was a glimpse of what life was like for a slave, her hopes, dreams, and many hardships. Her story was poignant yet full of life and perseverance.
The main characters' POV were engrossing but the secondary characters were also complex and compelling. In particular, Sarah's mother fascinated me. It seemed she also struggled with her rigid belief in their way of life and her love for her family as well as what seemed like a bit of jealousy over Sarah's intelligence and courage.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. If you decide to read this, get the audio. Not only is it one of the best audio narrations I've listened to, but I've seen quite a few complaints about the print and ebook version being difficult to read because of notes by Oprah.