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The Secret Life of Bees | [Sue Monk Kidd]

The Secret Life of Bees

Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed.
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Publisher's Summary

Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells 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.

©2003 Sue Monk Kidd; (P)2008 Penguin

What Members Say

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4.4 (1674 )
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Story
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Performance
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  •  
    Bokworm 09-09-11
    Bokworm 09-09-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    144
    45
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    "Terrific"

    The narrator was excellent--which makes the presentation a great listen. Good book. x x x

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alena 03-21-11
    alena 03-21-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    ""All those Mommas...""

    This is a lovely story, the color of golden honey. I actually listened to the whole thing in one day. A beautiful, fistful of unconditional love. I highly recommend it, especially if you're home alone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Auburn, WA, United States 02-27-11
    Jeff Auburn, WA, United States 02-27-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    211
    8
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    1
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    Overall
    "Great Story"

    A very good story and read very well. Another reading that made the book come thru in 3D. Left you thinking there must be more to the story. Maybe?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Chicago, IL, United States 01-30-11
    Thomas Chicago, IL, United States 01-30-11 Member Since 2014

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    125
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    36
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    Overall
    "Classic of the life of blacks in America"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gretha 01-09-11
    Gretha 01-09-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
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    31
    26
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    Overall
    "Great Book"

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon San Francisco Bay Area 09-19-10
    Sharon San Francisco Bay Area 09-19-10 Member Since 2010

    wintersky

    HELPFUL VOTES
    85
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    21
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    5
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    Overall
    "This is the best audible book ever recorded"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    menary kitchen 02-26-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
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    233
    50
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    Overall
    "fun story"

    fun and uplifting story

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emma New Bern, NC, USA 01-01-10
    Emma New Bern, NC, USA 01-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
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    "Great Book"

    Could not put it down

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sasha Asheville, NC, USA 02-03-10
    Sasha Asheville, NC, USA 02-03-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    3
    1
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    "Like honey, this novel is a kind of soul food."

    A very sweet empowering tale. The naration is decent. Definitely worthwile.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deanna Hubbard, TX, United States 02-17-11
    Deanna Hubbard, TX, United States 02-17-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    8
    6
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    "Not my favorite"

    It just felt like one of those books that you start so you might as well finish.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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