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.
©2003 Sue Monk Kidd; (P)2008 Penguin
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 13-year-old daughter.
Had I not read "The Help" first, so much this book might have earned five stars too. To me, the most interesting character is this story was May. The author earned six stars for May's character development. As a matter of fact, most of the female characters were well done, while I thought the male characters were average. The story was fairly predictable with no big surprises and no outrageous plot twists. I think the story lends itself to a sequel and I hope the author takes a stab at one. I look forward to renting the movie version. And the narrator did an outstanding job.
I struggled in the sixties to get a college education, barely graduated, spent a life in the phone company as a technician in a call center.
The Secret Life of Bees joins the list of great books about black life in the USA. I think it is actually as good as other such great books as The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Roots by Alex Haley, and The Measure of a Man by Sidney Portier. These books should be required reading for those in the world who want to go to a university for further studies.
I loved this book and loved the narrator, Jenna Lamia. Well written and Jenna reads with expression, which brings the story to life. I was sad when it ended.
Good job, Sue Monk Kidd and Jenna Lamia!
Jenna Lamia takes a great book and makes it even better. I have read this book, seen the movie and listened to the audio, but my favorite is the audio version. The textures of the voices Jenna created for each character are so distinct and realistic, I could practically see the faces of each! A real treat!
The book has the most charming narration I have ever heard. I almost didn't even care what I was listening to, just so I could listen to this narration. That the writing in this book is pure poetry makes it a combination that is simply irresistible. I love it. I cannot recommend it too highly.
Attorney & Artist
A poignant story of a young girl who finds herself born into a violent, abusive, rascist environment and has the strength, ingenuity and open-mindedness to fashion a beautiful new life for herself encouraged by the secret lives of the bees and their most excellent keepers. The effort was appreciated also as a cultural commentary, lest those of us living in this arguably post-racial society might not remember the hurt, pain and misunderstandings wrought by racism.
The story is well-constructed; the characters are well-developed -- I want to meet August Boatright -- and masterfully narrated. A very enjoyable listen.
I love a coming of age, heartwarming story, and this was a very nice one. Lily is a charming, strong willed character that I fell in love with instantly. She breaks away from the terrible life she is left with by her mother's death, and goes in search of her mother's past. It is a very enjoyable story, with some darkness, and humor to balance it nicely.
I recommend it, and bought it for my teenage nieces, who loved it!
I watched the movie first and really enjoyed it, but the book is always better!!! I love this story. Fantastic writing!!!
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