Book Review: Secret Life of Bees

Friday, April 10, 2009

Title: The Secret Life of Bees

Author: Sue Monk Kidd

Publisher: Penguin

Pages: 302


Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Beestells 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 "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past.

There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love--a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

This book was remarkable. I’ll admit I would have never read it, if I didn’t win it in a contest, which was hosted by the fabulous Keri Miluski.

First let me start off by saying I love Sue Monk Kidd’s writing. She uses vivid imagery and it so beautiful. Here’s a little excerpt from the book:

That night I lay in bed and thought about dying and going to be with my mother in paradise. I would meet her saying, "Mother, forgive. Please forgive," and she would kiss my skin till it grew chapped and tell me I was not to blame. She would tell me this for the first ten thousand years.

See what I mean. Loved it and one of the reasons why it is easily, hands down one of the most beautifully written books, I ever read.

The book featured strong female leads, which I greatly appreciate. Lily was likable because she was defiant and was firm about what she believed in. However, Lily wasn’t the only strong females in the book, there was Rosaleen and the Boatwright sisters who were wise and were surrogate mothers to Lily, teaching her things her mother wasn’t able to.

The Secret Life of Bees, is a great novel showing the true essence of the civil rights movement in the 1960's and a coming of age novel all wrapped in one. A must read, for everyone.


Tabitha said...

I loved this book!! There's so much great stuff happening in that story that I couldn't put it down. It's on my Favorites shelf now. :)

My husband just gave me her second book, The Mermaid Chair, but I haven't read it yet. But I'm gonna. :)

YA Book Realm said...

Hey Tabitha!

Yep, I surprisingly loved this book too! So well-written.

After shortly reading SLofB, I looked up Sue Monk Kidds other book and I saw The Mermaid Chair. The storyline is really different then SLofB, seems interesting. I think there's even a movie for the book.

Tabitha said...

Yes, there is a movie for BEES, but I haven't seen it. I'm not sure if I'm going to, since I loved the book so much and have my own images of the story. The movie will change all that. I know, I sound set in my ways...I just don't want to lose any of that experience. :)

Amee said...

I love this book. Definitely one of the first I mention when asked for a favorite book. I've actually bought two copies. The first one I leant out and never got back! I'm not letting go of this second one! lol

P.S. What happened to your Gilmore Girls post? I said it in my follower feed reader thing and then came here and it's gone. I really wanted to read the whole thing!

YA Book Realm said...

Tabitha- lol One of my reasons for actually wanting to read the book even more was to watch the movie. =) And I read this back in October, still haven't watched the movie. Figures? Oh and I meant to say before that there is a movie for the The Mermaid Chair, a lifetime film.

Amee- When I first posted the reviews, I thought know would even be interested in it. Pretty old book compared with the usual ones I review. But yay, now I know 2 people who loves, like moi.

And I would seriously hurt the person whoever didn't give back my book if i lent it to them. Try it, might not happen in the future. ;)

About the Gilmore Girl Post: I was writing and I pressed something (accidentally I might add) and it published before I was finished so I deleted the post. But I'll most probably write it back up again, later on. heh

Amee said...

I never see the person anymore. I worked with them and I quit and then only saw her a handful of times. I kept asking about it, but after a while figured she had just lost it or didn't want to give it back. I bought a new copy and never heard from her again. lol

Can't wait for the Gilmore Girls post. Love that show!

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