The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Author)

From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent 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—and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection.

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.

Sue Monk Kidd’s first novel, The Secret Life of Bees, spent more than one hundred weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold nearly six million copies, and was chosen as the 2004 BookSense Paperback Book of the Year and Good Morning America’s “Read This!” Book Club pick. It was adapted into an award-winning movie in 2008. Her second novel, The Mermaid Chair, a #1 New York Times bestseller, won the 2005 Quill Book Award for Best General Fiction and was adapted into a television movie. Her novels have been published in more than thirty countries. She is also the author of several acclaimed memoirs and the recipient of many awards, including a Poets & Writers Award. She lives near Charleston, South Carolina.

Read Inside

Sue Monk Kidd NEW Interview AWESOME

Conn Jackson interviews the amazing and inspiring Sue Monk Kidd. She is awesome.

Sue Monk Kidd Takes Readers’ Questions on The Invention of Wings – Super Soul Sunday – OWN

Oprah and Sue Monk Kidd sit down for an exclusive reader Q&A on Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection The Invention of Wings. Sue shares the motivations behind her characters’ actions, the challenges of writing in many different voices, her personal tricks for overcoming writer’s block and much more.

Healing the Western Soul: A Spiritual Homecoming for Today’s Seeker by Judith S. Miller (Author)

The search for meaning, which is so crucial for psychological health, has lost its traditional anchors. As a result, millions of individuals are creating their own belief systems. This shift began back in the Sixties, as people left traditional religion and began exploring other forms of spirituality.

Social contradictions demonstrate the complex factors around the topic of the spiritual life in the West. We have reached a pivotal moment where many negative forces seem to be pulling us apart, even while powerful forces for the good, especially seen through rapidly growing global communication, are bringing people around the world ever closer together. Today’s meaning will be found through reclaiming and transforming our traditional spiritual anchors.

Judith Miller Ph.D. is a professor of developmental psychology at Columbia University where she repeatedly receives the “Outstanding Teacher” award from students for her course “Spiritual Development Across the Lifespan.” She is also on the faculty of the International Institute for Consciousness Exploration and Psychotherapy in Wittnau, Germany. As part of her teaching responsibilities over the years, Miller has provided clinical supervision to hundreds of psychotherapists and graduate psychology students in both America and Europe. She also is a highly regarded spiritual guide, a popular speaker for lay and professional audiences alike, and a sought-after presenter at national and international conferences.


What it Means to Be Cosmically Conscious ~ Ellie Pappas

Recently, I was asked the following question: “What is your definition of being cosmically conscious?”

I thought about purpose. I expressed that I feel each and every one of us—whether human, animal, plant, crystal, or whatever else exists in this universe—has a purpose. The first step is to acknowledge it and the second is to live it.

This can be challenging for some of us, however we all know at our very core that ignoring that inner calling creates inner turmoil we can learn to silently live and suffer with or fully embrace and accept it as a divine message.

So what is it about being cosmically conscious that is so interwoven with purpose?

For me, it is everything. It is growth. It is expansion. Just as the galaxies and planets continue to infinitely expand, so do we.

We live with the illusory notion that there exists some destination. That perhaps—once we stumble upon our purpose—we are finished; that once we get there we’ll experience “happily ever after.”

We are so much more than that.

If we could accept that we never get it done, we could potentially accept ourselves, flaws and all. We could simply be our gorgeously human selves. Once we embrace this notion, perhaps we can enjoy this journey and hopefully find lightness in it.

Ever noticed that when approaching a goal we’ve set, we begin to desire the next best thing? Some say that this is a bad because it might mean we are never satisfied.

I say that this is a sign that our existence is that of infinite expansion.

We never get it done, so we should enjoy the notion that giving birth to new desires may just be a part of our true nature.

What some of us define as obstacles/problems/conflicts are simply things that we learn through our experiences. They provide opportunities to gradually refine who we are and where we want to go. This perspective has literally provided me with the utmost freedom. Prior to gaining this perspective, I saw myself as a victim to the “things that were going wrong.” I now use contrasting experiences to birth clarity on navigating the direction of my soul.

For a large portion of my life, I carried around weight, burden and darkness. I had no idea that I was (unconsciously) shaping my external world based on the thoughts and emotions I was focusing on. Building mindfulness can be a gradual process. I have made it my intention to grow in my conscious awareness so that I can be an active and joyous participant in this ever-expanding universe.

I believe in the goodness of humanity. I believe we are capable of truly shifting, capable of stepping out of the darkness and into the light. I keep encountering souls who are awakening which serves as evidence that a shift in mass consciousness is in bloom. Some say there are many awful things happening in our world. I agree to some extent but feel that these events are simply provoking an awakening.

I feel the excitement—do you?

Ellie is a Certified Life Coach with a Licensed Master’s in Social Work. She provides empowerment and guidance to individuals from all around the world. In May of 2013, she began her life coaching certification with the Quantum Success Life Coaching Academy and started one on one coaching.

Ellie’s Life Coaching services empower individuals to build an awareness of how thoughts and emotions may serve as blocks in achieving goals and dreams. Most importantly, her work aims to catalyze an inner revolution to allow integration within the self to occur. Ellie firmly believes all people possess the power to heal themselves and provides her clients with tools to take an inward journey in uncovering their hidden potentials and purpose.


elephant Journal

Author: Ellie Pappas
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Hartwig HKD via Flickr

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