One Book One Island


The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Beginning Friday, January 8, 2016 free copies of the book are available at:

  • Annye’s Whole Foods
  • Bookworks
  • Mitchell’s Book Corner
  • Nantucket Atheneum
  • Nantucket Cottage Hospital
  • Nantucket Dreamland
  • Nantucket Historical Association
  • Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror

Read and then share your OBOI book –
help spread the word and get a goodie!

Return your book to:
Annyes Whole Foods and receive a free soup
NHA and receive a free museum pass
Atheneum and get your fines waived

There will be a week of free related events from March 11 – March 20.

About The Invention of Wings

The Invention of Wings, a powerful and sweeping historical novel, begins, fittingly, with an image of flight: Hetty “Handful”, who has grown up as a slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, recalls the night her mother told her that her ancestors in Africa could fly over trees and clouds. That day, Handful’s mother, Charlotte, gave her daughter the gift of hope— the possibility that someday she might regain her wings and fly to freedom.

Barely a stone’s throw from the slave quarters where Handful and her mother share a room behind the grand Grimké house, another young woman fights a different battle with the constraints of her society. Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter of a wealthy and prominent family at the pinnacle of Charleston’s social hierarchy—the daughter her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. From the time of her first violent childhood confrontation with slavery, Sarah is unable to abide the oppression and brutality of the slave system that surrounds her.

The story begins on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when ten-year-old Handful is abruptly pulled from the Grimké’s work yard, adorned in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift. Sarah tries in vain to decline, but over time, the two create a bond that will ultimately and dramatically shape their destinies.

Inspired by actual historical figures (see bios) and enlivened by original characters The Invention of Wings is the extraordinary story of two struggles for freedom: the battle of Handful to find the wings her mother promised and the equally intense quest of Sarah to liberate her mind and spirit.

(Discussion Questions)

About Sue Monk Kidd

Sue Monk Kidd’s first novel, The Secret Life of Bees (2002), became a genuine literary phenomenon, selling over six million copies in the U.S. and remaining on the New York Times bestseller list for more than two years. Named Book Sense Book of the Year in 2004, it was adapted into an award-winning movie. Kidd’s second novel, The Mermaid Chair (2005), sold over a million copies and garnered the Quill Award for General Fiction. She has co-written a bestselling memoir with her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor, titled Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story (2009), as well as authoring several acclaimed memoirs, including The Dance of the Dissident Daughter (1996). Kidd lives in southwest Florida with her husband, Sandy and their black Labrador retriever.

About One Book One Island

One Book One Island 2016 is made possible by a special grant from the Tupancy-Harris Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council as well as the generous support of:

* Founding sponsors

Please consider supporting the One Book One Island Program. A $100 gift provides 10 additional free books for the community.

To donate, or for more information, please contact Molly Anderson, Nantucket Atheneum, 508-228-1110

One Book One Island (OBOI) is a collaborative project of community partners and sponsors that seeks to promote reading, literacy and community by encouraging everyone on Nantucket to read, discuss and reflect upon the same book.

Nantucket Island has read the following titles:

The Kiterunner (Hosseini)
The Breadwinner (Ellis)
The Librarian of Basra (Winter)

 The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)
The Young Man and the Sea (Philbrick)
Island Boy (Cooney)

American Chica (Arana)
Seedfolks (Fleischman)
Abuela (Dorros)

Coal Black Horse (Olmstead)

 The Postmistress (Blake)

The Maltese Falcon (Hammett)

The Red Garden (Hoffman)

To Kill A Mockingbird (Lee)

Enrique’s Journey (Nazario)