Tag Archive - Sue Monk Kidd

First Pages of Best-Selling Novels: The Invention of Wings

Let’s dive into this week’s examination of another best-seller’s first page. In this post we’re examining Sue Monk Kidd’s novel, The Invention of Wings, based on a true story of two women linked by the horrors of slavery: one a daughter of a wealthy South Carolina plantation owner and the other a slave in this family’s household.

Told in first person, the chapters alternate between the two main characters’ perspectives, which we saw done in The Time Traveler’s Wife (and a structure used in Gone Girl as well). This book is akin to a family saga, as it follows their unlikely friendship from childhood to middle age. Not a standard novel structure, which uses a short period of time to showcase a character going after a short-term goal.

But many novels fall into that “memoir” structure, which creates a challenge for the author. Why? Because while there may be a goal reached at the end of the book, a saga like this isn’t so much about the destination but the journey. Continue Reading…