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
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.
But I prefer something more entertaining.
The story is about Lily’s grief over losing her mother and her feelings about what’s going on around her. She hurts at the racial problems happening to her black friends. This book is told from Lily’s point of view. We do not see feelings or thoughts from a black person’s perspective. That would be a different story. This story is about Lily’s loss and hurts and then finding love and support with black women.
During the last half of the book I was sad and depressed. It made me think about losses and regrets in my own life. I think I’m better off if I don’t think about those kinds of things. I prefer to read books that make me feel happy, emotionally fulfilled, and forward thinking. I prefer books that take me on an adventure or escape. So, I’m not the best audience for this book.
I admired August. I grew attached to some of the characters. I liked August’s answer to Lily when Lily asked why her mother Debra married an abusive man T Ray. August said he wasn’t that way in the beginning and that people change after life gets through doing things to them. When Debra left T Ray, he sunk into bitterness.
A couple of side stories were interesting. We learn some things about bees. The ladies had regular services and traditions where they honored Our Lady. The story was that Our Lady was in chains by the master and broke free. August said Our Lady goes into the holes that life has gouged out of us.
One thing bothered me. Lily is a wonderful girl in many ways. Yet when she is angry about her mother, she goes into a rage where she breaks all the jars of honey. And she never apologized. It bothered me. This is how August makes a living, and Lily has just destroyed her income. You don’t destroy someone else’s property like that, and it’s even worse when they are taking care of you. Sure this was meant to show Lily’s grief. But negative feelings stayed with me after the book.
The ending was good for Lily and Rosaleen.
The narrator Jenna Lamia has a pleasant teenage girl voice. She was good.
This audiobook has it all- an interesting story, exceptional writing, and perfect narration that pulls you in to the story and won't let you go!
Another great work by Sue Monk Kidd with EXCELLENT narration by Jenna Lamia.
I stayed awake until 3:30 am to continue listening.
After first listening to The Invention of Wings, also with narration by Jenna Lamia, I was almost afraid to begin The Secret Life of Bees. I was afraid I would be disappointed.
I only wish that I had found these books, and this author, much sooner.
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