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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

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1341 )
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  •  
    Della Lee Americas 01-29-14
    Della Lee Americas 01-29-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very enjoyable listening"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret Life of Bees to be better than the print version?

    I found the audio easy to follow and keep track of characters. I have not read the print version and feel no need to after hearing the audio edition. The reader's voice was appropriate for the setting and enjoyable.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Life of Bees?

    The phrase, "Some people bite off more than they can chew, but August chews more than she can bite off." That was memorable


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Rosalie confronted Lilly, after they escaped from the hospital, questioning her motives.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Secret Life of Bees and why?

    August was so strong and steady and loving--very memorable. But, May will also stay with me as she was so in tune and I loved her wall.


    Any additional comments?

    All the comments about bees were wonderful and informative. At the end I was remembering how I love to crawl under the drooping branches of the desert Ironwood trees in the spring when the bees are hard at work. When I curl up near the trunk, the bees ignore me and I can sleep listening to the symphony all around me. This book spoke of the same sensation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mari Fort Walton Beach, FL, United States 01-15-14
    Mari Fort Walton Beach, FL, United States 01-15-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Yah, I'll Listen to this Again"
    Where does The Secret Life of Bees rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The slow start of the book is forgotten after you get into the main section. So much color and emotions and real history. You end up loving all of the characters. I would listen to it again for sure.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MS Tacoma, WA, United States 09-24-13
    MS Tacoma, WA, United States 09-24-13 Member Since 2010

    I like historical, southern books - southern accents, antiques - The Ole' West, Ghost Towns, Victorian Era, Southern Humor!!

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    "Favorite narrator and great book!"

    What a life for a young girl to go through! Lily proves that she is smart and is a very loving, caring person. She accomplishes her travels and learns so much throughout. She is strong and determined.

    Lovely book, would listen to again and I highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Ram St. James, NY United States 09-05-13
    B. Ram St. James, NY United States 09-05-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Emotion Evoking"
    What did you love best about The Secret Life of Bees?

    This book really brought you back in time. Life was so much simpler then. I really enjoyed the everyday life part of the story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Life of Bees?

    This book really moved me emotionally.


    What does Jenna Lamia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I loved the narration. She brought the feeling of the emotions to this wonderful story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I do not listen to any book in one sitting, I have a long commute and listen in my car.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the story, but did find it a little sad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Fairfield, CA, United States 08-27-13
    Charles Fairfield, CA, United States 08-27-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Wonderful book"
    If you could sum up The Secret Life of Bees in three words, what would they be?

    kindness always matters


    What did you like best about this story?

    It took me into the story


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When she runs away from home, and sleeping by the creek


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    It is a film, I have not seen it, but I will.


    Any additional comments?

    You will enjoy this book, give it a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Pennsville, NJ, United States 08-14-13
    William Pennsville, NJ, United States 08-14-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A Sweet Treat!"
    If you could sum up The Secret Life of Bees in three words, what would they be?

    I would sum up The Secret Life of Bees with the words: true, wise, and touching.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Life of Bees?

    The most memorable moment for me was when Lily had bees swarming around her and she didn't flinch but floated mentally to another place and was able to keep calm and become "one" with the bees.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are so many gems in this book. Each word drips with sweet truth against the backdrop of bitter racism. The book doesn't focus on "racism" beyond the matter of fact reality of living in the south during that era.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Secret Life of Bees and why?

    August is the most memorable character for me. Salt of the earth sweetened with a lifetime of honey.


    Any additional comments?

    Please read or listen to this book before you see the movie. You will be touched, moved, and uplifted by this glorious work of art.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Lake Odessa, MI, United States 05-23-13
    Amazon Customer Lake Odessa, MI, United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "One of my favorites"

    Loved this book. Ms. Kidd knows how to set a scene to make the reader feel like you're part of the story, and I can't imagine a better narrator than Jenna Lamia.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisbeth SKILLMAN, NEW JERSEY, United States 04-09-13
    Lisbeth SKILLMAN, NEW JERSEY, United States 04-09-13 Member Since 2013
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    "A great listen"

    Loved the book from the first to the last. Well written. Well read. Very engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Kalamazoo, MI, United States 01-08-13
    Lisa Kalamazoo, MI, United States 01-08-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Mixed Feelings"

    I will listen to any book that Jenna Lamia performs. She is an outstanding performer, particularly with the Southern accents. The story was a disappointment to me. I liked the movie better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    LibertyandJusticeforAll Chesapeake, VA 01-06-13
    LibertyandJusticeforAll Chesapeake, VA 01-06-13

    Donna

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    "Really enjoyable listen!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I think the accent and voice of the reader of the Audible edition of the book complimented the story very nicely and made it especially enjoyable.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Life of Bees?

    When the main character realized that the beekeeper had not only known her long-deceased mother, but had helped reer her and had known her for her entire life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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