Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review: The Secret Life Of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Title: The Secret Life of Bees
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Genre: Historical Fiction/Southern Fiction
Publication Date: 8th November 2001
Time: 9hrs 54mins
Narrator: Jenna Lamia
Book Source: own audio

Synopsis: 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 black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

My Thoughts:
I'm a latecomer to this little treasure and not sure I can add anything new with my review but I can't not share my thoughts. It's a heart-achy read with Lily's sad family circumstances and the racial tension but The Secret Life Of Bees embodies the strength of the female spirit ... it's warm with compassion, honesty and wisdom. 

I adored all the characters, well except for that oxygen bandit T-Ray, Lily's abusive father. Lily is both wise beyond her years and naive, completely honest with the reader and utterly charming.  August Boatright was another favourite character, I loved that she was Lily's safe harbour. 

Jenna Lamia is one of my favourite narrators, she nails the distinct voices of 14 year old Lily, her nanny Rosaleen and the Boatright sisters. Jenna Lamia also narrates other favourites; Beth Hoffman's Saving Ceecee Honeycut and the heart warming Looking For Me.

The Secret Life Of Bees is beautifully written, gorgeous imagery, endearing characters, it's just ... enchanting. 

Connect with Sue Monk Kidd


  1. You you've convinced me. Got to track this down

    1. Yay, I'm glad :)
      I liked SMK's writing so much I immediately bought The Invention of Wings on audio!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Julie, hope you enjoy this one!

  3. My friend insisted that I picked this up at the charity book sale a few weeks ago. She said I'd love it and reading your thoughts I think I will!

  4. I loved this book too. I have not watched the movie yet.

    1. Me either Nise, but I want to. Shelleyrae said it's very good so I'm adding it to my need to watch list!

  5. Replies
    1. Good to hear Shelleyrae, coming into winter we watch a few more movies ... this will be one of them.

  6. One of my all-time faves :)

    1. Have you read The Invention of Wings Stacy, it's brilliant!


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