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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 (1672 )
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4.7 (1165 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Lake Odessa, MI, United States 05-23-13
    Amazon Customer Lake Odessa, MI, United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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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 04-09-13
    Lisbeth 04-09-13
    ratings
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    42
    3
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    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    LibertyandJusticeforAll Chesapeake, VA 01-06-13
    LibertyandJusticeforAll Chesapeake, VA 01-06-13

    Donna

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Jean Waukesha, WI, United States 11-06-12
    Jean Waukesha, WI, United States 11-06-12 Member Since 2011
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    15
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    "A good book made great by the narrator"
    If you could sum up The Secret Life of Bees in three words, what would they be?

    Meaningful, hopeful, and the power of love


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story line is a bit implausable, but the author ties it all together with a powerful message.


    Have you listened to any of Jenna Lamia’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've listened to two of her narrations. Both were superbly read. She effectively adapts her voice to the story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The honesty of the characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kami 11-05-12
    Kami 11-05-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret Life of Bees to be better than the print version?

    About the same. I listened to this during car rides to and from work, school, and home. If I had time to read the print I would probably have preferred that, but it was still a very enjoyable experience. The reader was fun to listen to, and helped me get into the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    that the story is told from the perspective of a young teen and her perspective on how the adult world during all the civil issues in the 1960s.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When June finally accepts Niel's proposal! So cute! Or when Lily and June get in the water fight and finally start to accept one another.


    If you could take any character from The Secret Life of Bees out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    August. She makes you think and become a better person.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. GOETZE MARYLAND 11-01-12
    S. GOETZE MARYLAND 11-01-12 Member Since 2010

    CANDYMAN

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    10
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    0
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    "JUST FUN!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret Life of Bees to be better than the print version?

    HAS TO BE WITH JENNA READING IT.


    What about Jenna Lamia’s performance did you like?

    SHE TURNED IT INTO A LIVE PLAY.


    Any additional comments?

    IT WAS THE WAY LIFE WAS!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Stapleton, NE, United States 10-04-12
    Barbara Stapleton, NE, United States 10-04-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    21
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Life with bees"
    Would you listen to The Secret Life of Bees again? Why?

    The Secret Life of Bees may become an annual read for me. Sometimes one just needs a well written inspiring book especially one read by a person who transports one smack dab into the sixties.


    What other book might you compare The Secret Life of Bees to and why?

    "The Help"


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

    Her voice sounded as if she were young, Southern and confused yet strong. All my senses were set to high as I listened.


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

    August after May


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it. A treasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan FELLSMERE, FL, United States 08-06-12
    Susan FELLSMERE, FL, United States 08-06-12
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    5
    2
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    "Charming Story"
    Where does The Secret Life of Bees rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Can't beat this story for tugging at your heartstrings but also maintaining an interesting level of tension to keep you listening.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie Moncton, NB, Canada 07-24-12
    Jackie Moncton, NB, Canada 07-24-12 Member Since 2012

    Avid reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    77
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    14
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    "Narrator made it even better."

    This is a heartwarming story of acceptance and love. I sadly have not seen the movie, but I did enjoy the reading. The different characters came to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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