From the celebrated author of the international bestseller The Secret Life of Bees comes an extraordinary novel about two exceptional women. Sarah Grimk is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah's eleventh birthday, Hetty 'Handful' Grimk 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.