Thursday Quotables: The Invention of Wings


Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.Β  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

NEW! Thursday Quotables is now using a Linky tool! Be sure to add your link if you have a Thursday Quotables post to share.

Invention of Wings 2

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
(published 2014 )

I have about 1/4 of this powerful, beautiful book left to go, but I’ve been loving it so far. Here are two brief passages that give a little taste. The first is a young slave girl’s impression of words on a page, from the point of view of someone who’s never been taught to read:

I shut the door and opened Miss Sarah’s books. I sat at her desk and turned one page after another, staring at what looked like bits and pieces of black lace laid cross the paper. The marks had a beauty to them, but I didn’t see how they could do anything but confuddle a person.

I love the “black lace” description. Can you remember what it was like to look at a book before learning to read?

The story revolves around two characters: Sarah, the daughter of a wealthy, slave-owning family in Charleston, and Handful, the young girl given as a present to Sarah for her 11th birthday. Sarah is aghast at the idea of owning another person, and the two develop a close but complicated relationship. Again from Handful’s point of view:

She laid the book down and came where I was standing by the chimney place and put her arms round me. It was hard to know where things stood. People say love gets fouled by a difference big as ours. I didn’t know for sure whether Miss Sarah’s feelings came from love or guilt. I didn’t know whether mine came from love or a need to be safe. She loved me and pitied me. And I loved her and used her. It never was a simple thing. That day, our hearts were pure as they ever would get.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (, if you’d be so kind!
  • Click on the linky button (look for the cute froggie face) below to add your link.
  • After you link up, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

14 thoughts on “Thursday Quotables: The Invention of Wings

  1. I really loved The Secret Life of Bees so this sounds like something I would really enjoy! I cannot remember any time before I could read which feels so weird!

    • I’m finding this book even better than The Secret Life of Bees! I can relate to the learning to read part from learning to read in a language with a different alphabet during college. I can remember the transition from seeing the text as looking like an interesting pattern of designs to looking at it and having it start to form words. πŸ™‚

  2. Such beautiful passages! I’ve been meaning to read The Secret Life of Bees and now I’ll add The Invention of Wings to my TBR list πŸ™‚

    • I read The Secret Life of Bees so many years ago, so maybe it’s because my memory is a bit faded by now, but I think The Invention of Wings is even better!

  3. I love your quotes! Both of them πŸ˜€ I still relate to the first one sometimes – them really fancy scripts on the computer? Yeah, beautiful but not meant for reading! ha ha! The second one… incredibly sweet!! x

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