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Publisher's Summary

A fabulous coming-of-age debut novel that has sold over 5 million copies worldwide, and has been made into a movie starring Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo, and Paul Bettany.

Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four. She not only has her own memory of holding the gun, but her father's account of the event. Now 14, she yearns for her mother, and for forgiveness. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, she has only one friend: Rosaleen, a black servant whose sharp exterior hides a tender heart.

South Carolina in the '60s is a place where segregation is still considered a cause worth fighting for. When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily is compelled to act. Fugitives from justice and from Lily's harsh and unyielding father, they follow a trail left by the woman who died 10 years before.

Finding sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world, as about the mystery surrounding her mother.

©2003 Sue Monk Kidd (P)2008 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Wonderfully written, powerful, poignant, and humorous... Do read it" (Joanna Trollope)
'This is a wonderful book, by turns funny, sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris' Daily Telegraph

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Suemallon@online.de

Beautifully read
Beautifully written with great compassion
I loved the writing style and descriptive quality of this book
Sad in so many places but written with a great sense of how a child thinks and with a good sense of humor

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Deeply personal and heart wrenching

Set in a sliver of tumultuous contemporary American history, the story follows Lilly's search for her true self and is warm, funny, sad, tragic, comical, romantic, instructive, serendipitous and slowly unravelling a raw truth and a bond that draws all the characters together. An unexpected joy.

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  • Mrs. K. J. D. CURRIE
  • 08-04-14

Love it - start to finish!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret Life of Bees to be better than the print version?

This is one of those stories that you never want to end - you fall in love with the characters and just want them to keep telling you their tales!<br/><br/>I listen to my books in the car and actually found myself driving a little slower to get home so that I could hear just a little more of the story!<br/><br/>The performance was captivating and I enjoyed every bit.<br/><br/>I don't have the printed version so can't compare but I'd recommend the audio in a heartbeat and feel that it added to my enjoyment of it!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The final scenes with Lily and her father.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes I went through lots of emotions - sadness, amusement and a sense of wellbeing at the end!

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended - and I'll be watching out for the film now too!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 09-26-14

feel good book

Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret Life of Bees to be better than the print version?

i have only listend to it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lily was a very sad lovely lonely brave girl looking for love trying to do the right thing living in a terrible situation and time.

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

perfect accent

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

yes

Any additional comments?

loved all the information about bees, with out being lectured.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Cawley
  • 11-28-16

Remarkable

Along with To Kill a Mockingbird and The Help, this book transported me to the Deep South. Recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul McAviney
  • 02-02-15

Beautiful story beautifully told

I loved this story from start to finish. I also loved the reading from the narrator, it was very unique and brought me at times all the way to South Carolina.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Samima
  • 11-25-16

A beautiful and heartwarming story.

A story of a young motherless girl who has to live with the terrible knowledge that she accidentally killed her mother. She lives with a brutal father and is cared for by the loving Rosalee. It's a beautiful story about courage and love, set in the southern states of America at the time of the civil rights campaigns.

The narrator is perfect for this story and reminds me of a young Sissy Spacek.

I loved it

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 11-22-16

Very enjoyable

Now this is what I call a five star book great story excellently read by a five star narrator , this is up there with Harper Lee To Kill A mocking Bird , I have recommended this to all my friends , will make a great Christmas gift in audible or book form will now look out for more of Sue Monk Kidd and any titles narrated by Jenna Lamia

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Perranmaid
  • 06-10-14

Such a wonderful story of women and prejudices

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would strongly recommend it

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

I can't think of any other book that compares to it

Which scene did you most enjoy?

most of the chapters once they reached the honey farm

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

kneeling on grits; punishment by her father<br/>I don't want to write about the others as it may ruin the story for others, but the women at the honey farm are wonderful in many ways

Any additional comments?

strongly recommend it. I'm not sure if you would describe it as a coming of age story but certainly the young girl's story is so moving. I love the way they relate back to facts about bees and honey

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • R. J. Gladden
  • 06-16-15

Superb!

I am taking the somewhat unusual step of writing this review before actually finishing the book but I didn't want to waste any time at all in saying how beautiful this book is and perhaps giving someone else the opportunity to enjoy it.

Lilian is a young girl who has grown up during the 60s in America with the knowledge that she has killed her mother by accident when she was four years old. She was subsequently brought up by her brutal and loveless father and a local black woman, Rosalee, who was recruited by her father from the peach fields of his farm.

After an incident in the local town in which Rosalee gets arrested for assault, she and Lilian run away and Lilian goes in search of her mother. Along the way, the pair meet up with a group of sisters running a bee keeping farm and honey production factory. The resultant adventures will have readers laughing, crying and unable to sleep.

You have been warned! I am loving every minute and such is the descriptive powers of Ms Kidd and the awesome narration provided by Jenna Lamia, every character has a clear life of it's own. I am at the point where I want to finish the book to see what happens. But the end will be the end and I just want this book to go on and on. I know it can't so perhaps I shall just have to start over again!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Foshy
  • 08-26-15

I liked this audio book

This was slow to start, but once I got into the story it just got better and better. Kept me listening. The accents of the narrator took a little time to get used to. Overall this was a good book. I recommend.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • KCT
  • 08-12-17

Fabulous narrator

Great story and probably the best narrator I've ever heard on Audible and I listen a lot. I really enjoyed this. Thank you to all involved.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kristen
  • 09-21-17

fantastic!

i really loved this book. it was beautifully read and the story was really fabulous! i was disappointed when it finished! you really fall in love with the characters!

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  • Grace Less
  • 07-04-17

great story, amazing performance

this particular audiobook was amazing. The girl that narrated is incredible. highly recommended story, particularly as an audiobook.

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  • Debbie
  • 05-26-17

Nice Story

It was a nice story but I found it a little boring. Easy to read.

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  • Ngaire Wood
  • 04-17-17

Beautiful.😊

Awesome book! Words that I found touch a deep compassion for other people's stories/steps in life & give a little insight on the size of one's shoes.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-17-16

Brilliant

A charming, emotive novel that poiniently displayed the rawness of the human endeavour. Brilliant. The narrator brought the tale to life.

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  • Kelzi
  • 10-13-16

just beautiful !!!

I listened twice in 24 hrs. I love that usually it's a colored person saving (or a nanny to ) the white person , but in this everything about it was just amazingly, beautifully the opposite . I didn't even think it could of actually happened till I read this. The thought hurt me.