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The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
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The Secret Life of Bees (original 2002; edition 2008)

by Sue Monk Kidd

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21,13151467 (3.91)435
Member:booklovingplesiosaur
Title:The Secret Life of Bees
Authors:Sue Monk Kidd
Info:Penguin Books (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Work details

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

  1. 411
    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. 120
    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. 51
    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 435 mentions

English (502)  Norwegian (3)  Catalan (2)  Portuguese (1)  Vietnamese (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  English (513)
Showing 1-5 of 502 (next | show all)
I was not expecting to like this book at all. The writing was good, the narrator believable and the story intriguing. ( )
  homeschoolmimzi | Nov 28, 2016 |
A powerful and moving coming of age story. Rife with turmoil, in a society that itself is in upheaval, follow Lily as she tries to find her place in the world, and the truth of her life. Love is a powerful thing, but rarely is felt so keenly as it is by the main characters in 'The Secret Life of Bees'. This book touched me at my core. I smiled, I laughed, I cried, and I was sorry when it was over. I didn't want to leave the pink house of the beekeeping sisters. I didn't want to leave the strange family they forged behind. This story is a true gem. ( )
  LilyRoseShadowlyn | Nov 21, 2016 |
Great book! I highly recommend it. ( )
  Nawras13 | Oct 23, 2016 |
Set in South Carolina during the Civil Rights movement - we have our young heroine Lily running away from home with her home's black servant, Rosaleen. Lily runs towards the one hint of her mothers past, a label with a bee on it and an address. There she finds three sisters who are not quite what they seem.

this is a story of Lily finding herself and coming to terms with her deceased mother. And it is a fairly typical feel good story, where the main characters went through some troubles, but ultimately, come out scarred, but stronger. Race relations is fairly prominent in this book, Lily, a white girl, being taken in by three black sisters. Unfortunately, it falls into the "outsider Black Saviour" sort of book, where August, the matriarch of the calendar sisters, brings knowledge and wisdom to all those around her, while having no faults of her own.

Civil Rights are a background to this book - This book felt a bit too nice. The Black Madonna worship felt contrived and some of the congregation was a bit stereotypical. Overall, a cute feel good book that won't challenge a reader. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Oct 23, 2016 |
Loved it. ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 502 (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 (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kidd, Sue Monkprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frezza Pavese, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paredes, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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.
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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...
Haiku summary

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 17 descriptions

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