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The Secret Life of Bees (Penguin Essential…

The Secret Life of Bees (Penguin Essential Edition) (original 2002; edition 2005)

by Sue Kidd

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21,54952061 (3.91)447
Title:The Secret Life of Bees (Penguin Essential Edition)
Authors:Sue Kidd
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2005), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (2002)

  1. 421
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Caramellunacy, rosylibrarian)
    Caramellunacy: Both stories are about a young girl in the South coming to terms with racism. Secret Life of Bees features an teenaged protagonist whereas To Kill a Mockingbird's Scout is quite a bit younger, but I thought there were themes that resonated between the two.… (more)
  2. 232
    The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Alliebadger, Alie, Neale, readysetgo)
    Neale: Both deal with racial issues and are slow moving but enjoyable
  3. 130
    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg (VictoriaPL)
  4. 90
    White Oleander by Janet Fitch (leahsimone)
  5. 101
    Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (lasperschlager)
  6. 70
    Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (ddelmoni)
  7. 116
    Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: A Novel by Rebecca Wells (SimoneA)
    SimoneA: Both well written books about the strength of women and forgiveness.
  8. 61
    A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (AmethystFaerie)
  9. 40
    Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff (rbtanger)
  10. 20
    Small Island by Andrea Levy (tina1969)
  11. 20
    How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (HazardMain)
    HazardMain: both books, though set in totally different surroundings, tell the story of a teenage girl who finds a place to call "home" for the first time in her life
  12. 53
    Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons (rbtanger)
  13. 20
    The Invention of Wings: A Novel by Sue Monk Kidd (readysetgo)
  14. 87
    The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (leahsimone)
  15. 10
    Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens (teelgee)
  16. 21
    Bliss by Peter Carey (meela)
  17. 00
    Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall (Iudita, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Set in the American South during the 1960s, these moving coming-of-age stories star motherless white girls whose strong bonds with older African-American women result in dangerous yet eye-opening journeys that unfold against the backdrop of the burgeoning civil rights movement.… (more)
  18. 00
    Soul Kiss by Shay Youngblood (greytone)
    greytone: The larger-than-life black women of both novels provided the young girls an example and a moral anchor to which they could fasten their drifting life rafts. Both novels are fine examples of how important these silent members of the community are, and how critical these things are to forming successful and productive lives.… (more)
  19. 11
    Paradise by Toni Morrison (Booksloth)
  20. 00
    In the Midnight Rain by Ruth Wind (EmJay)
    EmJay: Both books are set in the South, and both involve motherless daughters coming to terms with their past and finding a community.

(see all 22 recommendations)


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» See also 447 mentions

English (506)  Norwegian (3)  Catalan (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All (518)
Showing 1-5 of 506 (next | show all)
Wonderful book; great characters and the story draws you in to their world. Best book i have read in months! ( )
  JosephKing6602 | Jun 30, 2017 |
Yea so what if I read this book in one day?! I really really liked it. And it has lived up to the hype thankfully.

The thing with me is, I don't really watch TV or films often so I've missed watching this so the book and story was very new to me and I'm glad.

I loved most the characters from Lily to August, May, the daughters, Zach etc. I didnt like the way Lily's father treated her or the horrid policemen and other guys but the women thrived regardless of that. Women who have had things happen to them but carry on in the face of adversity. And the relationships were tight and wonderful. And I loved the bees. The facts at the beginning of every page which I had to share with my poor uninterested husband.

All in all, I found it rather splendid and it was wrapped up neatly with a little bow. ( )
  Nataliec7 | May 23, 2017 |
There are books that move you in ways you can express, you can point to, you can share and relate to others. Much of that applies to Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bee's. What is worth emoting however is the intangible, things that simply don't translate. I believe this isn't unique to me, but many readers and what makes this book so special. The setting, the people, the circumstances, and experience may be very different from our own, but the themes of feeling abandoned, seeking our own history and truths, struggling with injustice, healing through spirituality, are universal when presented by a gifted writer who makes these characters and their stories so accessible. ( )
  CMDH5 | May 8, 2017 |
Fourteen year old Lily is isolated on the Georgia farm where she lives with her father who physically and emotionally abuses her. Lily's mother was killed when she was a small child, and all she has left of her is an image of a Black Madonna with the words "Tiburon, South Carolina" written on the back.

Lily accompanies their housekeeper into town which leads to them running away from home and finding Tiburon, South Carolina. There they stay with bee keeping sisters who help Lily in her quest to find out more about her mother. ( )
  jenn88 | Apr 25, 2017 |
Lily is 14 and lives in South Carolina in 1964, when Civil Rights was a huge issue and black Americans had just been granted the right to vote. Lily's mother is dead - supposedly shot by Lily accidentally when she was 4 years old and her father is a brute who makes her kneel on stones and beats her and uses her basically as an unpaid worker. When Lily's black maid Rosaleen decides to walk into town to vote, Lily follows her and witnesses racial prejudice. Rosaleen reacts to this and is thrown in jail where she is beaten. Lily is constantly looking for a "sign" from her mother and when she finds a picture of a black madonna, she decides to break Rosaleen out of hospital and flee to the name of the town written on the back of the picture. The picture turns out to be from the label of a jar of honey, so Lily and Rosaleen travel to the bee farm where they are taken in by three black sisters May, June and August. While there, August teaches Lily everything about bees and bee keeping and Rosaleen recovers from her scars and befriends the disabled sister May. But even in this idyllic world of flowers and bees, they are not safe - Lily is haunted by her mother's memory and comes to learn about prejudice and the way of the world in 1964 when she falls in love with the black farmhand Zach. A wonderful novel in the vein of To Kill a Mockingbird. ( )
  nicsreads | Feb 27, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 506 (next | show all)
Lily is a wonderfully petulant and self-absorbed adolescent, and Kidd deftly portrays her sense of injustice as it expands to accommodate broader social evils. At the same time, the political aspects of Lily's growth never threaten to overwhelm the personal.

» Add other authors (38 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kidd, Sue Monkprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frezza Pavese, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paredes, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The queen, for her part, is the unifying force of the community; if she is removed from the hive, the workers very quickly sense her absence. After a few hours, or even less, they show unmistakable signs of queenlessness. - Man and Insects.
For my son, Bob, and Ann and Sandy with all my love.
First words
At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.
The secret of a good lie is don't overly explain, and throw in one good detail.
"She liked to tell everybody that women made the best beekeepers, 'cause they have a special ability built into them to love creatures that sting. 'It comes from years of loving children and husbands,' she'd say."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Great story about a young girl's journey to discover her mother and herself. Southern tone is always fun.
1960s: Lily has grown up believing that at the age of four she accidentally killed her mother. She not only has her own memory of holding the gun, but her father's account of the event. Now, at fourteen, Lily yearns for her mother, and for forgiveness. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, she has just one friend, Rosaleen, a black servant of uncertain age. 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 find sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters...
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142001740, Paperback)

In Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, 14-year-old Lily Owen, neglected by her father and isolated on their South Carolina peach farm, spends hours imagining a blissful infancy when she was loved and nurtured by her mother, Deborah, whom she barely remembers. These consoling fantasies are her heart's answer to the family story that as a child, in unclear circumstances, Lily accidentally shot and killed her mother. All Lily has left of Deborah is a strange image of a Black Madonna, with the words "Tiburon, South Carolina" scrawled on the back. The search for a mother, and the need to mother oneself, are crucial elements in this well-written coming-of-age story set in the early 1960s against a background of racial violence and unrest. When Lily's beloved nanny, Rosaleen, manages to insult a group of angry white men on her way to register to vote and has to skip town, Lily takes the opportunity to go with her, fleeing to the only place she can think of--Tiburon, South Carolina--determined to find out more about her dead mother. Although the plot threads are too neatly trimmed, The Secret Life of Bees is a carefully crafted novel with an inspired depiction of character. The legend of the Black Madonna and the brave, kind, peculiar women who perpetuate Lily's story dominate the second half of the book, placing Kidd's debut novel squarely in the honored tradition of the Southern Gothic. --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:33 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Now in paperback comes the intoxicating debut novel of "one motherless daughter's discover of ... the strange and wondrous places we find love" ("The Washington Post"). Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing work is set in South Carolina in 1964.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 18 descriptions

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Average: (3.91)
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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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