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Traces more than three decades in the lives of a wealthy Charleston debutante who longs to break free from the strictures of her household and pursue a meaningful life; and the urban slave, Handful, who is placed in her charge as a child before finding courage and a sense of self. By the best-selling author of The Secret Life of Bees.
The New York Times–bestselling second novel by the author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings Inside the church of a Benedictine monastery on Egret Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, resides a beautiful and mysterious chair ornately carved with mermaids and dedicated to a saint who, legend claims, was a mermaid before her conversion. When Jessie Sullivan is summoned home to the island to cope with her eccentric mother’s seemingly inexplicable behavior, she is living a conventional life with her husband, Hugh, a life “molded to the smallest space possible.” Jessie loves Hugh, but once on the island, she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk about to take his final vows. Amid a rich community of unforgettable island women and the exotic beauty of marshlands, tidal creeks, and majestic egrets, Jessie grapples with the tension of desire and the struggle to deny it, with a freedom that feels overwhelmingly right and the immutable force of home and marriage. Is the power of the mermaid chair only a myth? Or will it alter the course of Jessie’s life? What happens will unlock the roots of her mother’s tormented past, but most of all, it will allow Jessie to comes discover selfhood and a place of belonging as she explores the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic.
The No. 1 New York Times bestseller. A powerful and extraordinary novel about two exceptional women during a time of brutal slavery in the Deep South, by the celebrated author of the multi-million-copy-bestselling novel The Secret Life of Bees. 'Fascinating... A splendid tribute to a pair of true heroines' The Times 'Wonderful - well-written, moving and engaging by turns, and always compelling' Daily Mail 'A remarkable novel that heightened my sense of what it meant to be a woman - slave or free' Oprah Winfrey 'A resonant, illuminating novel' Observer Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah's eleventh birthday, Hetty 'Handful' Grimké is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift. Sarah knows what she does next will unleash a world of trouble. She also knows that she cannot accept. And so, indeed, the trouble begins ... A powerful, sweeping novel, inspired by real events, and set in the American Deep South in the nineteenth century, The Invention of Wings evokes a world of shocking contrasts, of beauty and ugliness, of righteous people living daily with cruelty they fail to recognise; and celebrates the power of friendship and sisterhood against all the odds. What readers are saying about The Invention of Wings: 'You cannot fault Sue Monk Kidd's writing; she very adeptly speaks with both Sarah and Handful's voice. The pictures she paints are vivid, compelling and haunting; this is not a novel I will easily forget' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 'I was not expecting this book to grab my heartstrings and pull the way that it did' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 'The weaving of fact and fiction into a powerful novel covering abolition of slavery, women's ambitions in 19th century America, love, family, betrayal and hope for a better future make compelling reading' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars 'Unforgettable. This book was completely and utterly dynamic. From the first word to the last I was enthralled with Sarah and Handful. So powerful' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
The multi-million bestselling novel about a young girl's journey towards healing and the transforming power of love, from the award-winning author of The Invention of Wings Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sister, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come. From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a #1 New York Times bestselling novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world. 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. Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better. This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved. From the Trade Paperback edition.
An introspective and beautiful dual memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling novelist and her daughter. Look out for Ann Kidd Taylor's new novel, The Shark Club, which will be published in June 2017. Sue Monk Kidd has touched millions of readers with her novels The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair and with her acclaimed nonfiction. In this intimate dual memoir, she and her daughter, Ann, offer distinct perspectives as a fifty-something and a twenty-something, each on a quest to redefine herself and to rediscover each other. Between 1998 and 2000, Sue and Ann travel throughout Greece and France. Sue, coming to grips with aging, caught in a creative vacuum, longing to reconnect with her grown daughter, struggles to enlarge a vision of swarming bees into a novel. Ann, just graduated from college, heartbroken and benumbed by the classic question about what to do with her life, grapples with a painful depression. As this modern-day Demeter and Persephone chronicle the richly symbolic and personal meaning of an array of inspiring figures and sites, they also each give voice to that most protean of connections: the bond of mother and daughter. A wise and involving book about feminine thresholds, spiritual growth, and renewal, Traveling with Pomegranates is both a revealing self-portrait by a beloved author and her daughter, a writer in the making, and a momentous story that will resonate with women everywhere.
The bestselling author's inspiring autobiographical account of personal pain, spiritual awakening, and divine grace. "Inspiring. Sue Monk Kidd is a direct literary descendant of Carson McCullers."—Baltimore Sun "Grounded in personal experience and bolstered with classic spiritual disciplines and Scripture, this book offers an alternative to fast-fix spirituality."—Bookstore Journal Blending her own experiences with an intimate grasp of spirituality, Sue Monk Kidd relates the passionate and moving tale of her spiritual crisis, when life seemed to have lost meaning and her longing for a hasty escape from the pain yielded to a discipline of "active waiting."

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