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The Secret Life of Bees (2002)

by Sue Monk Kidd

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
25,453568107 (3.91)510
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.
  1. 412
    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. 241
    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. 111
    Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (lasperschlager)
  5. 90
    White Oleander by Janet Fitch (leahsimone)
  6. 70
    Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (ddelmoni)
  7. 116
    Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 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. 30
    The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (readysetgo)
  11. 20
    Small Island by Andrea Levy (tina1969)
  12. 53
    Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons (rbtanger)
  13. 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
  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 510 mentions

English (553)  Norwegian (3)  Catalan (2)  Portuguese (1)  Vietnamese (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (564)
Showing 1-5 of 553 (next | show all)
what a sad story but also heartwarming in how a person can respond to the turmoils in one's life and still come out all right. Never under estimate the power of a person to endure so much tragic events. ( )
  MadMattReader | Sep 11, 2022 |
This still holds the honor of being my favorite book. ( )
  graceandbenji | Sep 1, 2022 |
I enjoyed reading this book. I liked the analogies, some hidden some obvious. The humanness of the characters came through easily; each had an individual and imperfect voice. ( )
  katefren | Aug 15, 2022 |
this is one of the books chosen as a set text for the Proficiency Exam in English, so i'm reading it to help a student prepare for that. of course, i always saw it around the bookstore and was never particularly interested, though it is one of those books that is wildly popular for no apparent reason.

well, i read it in a morning, pretty much, and though it had some nice use of language here and there, i just wasn't that impressed. i couldn't help thinking, "this has been done before ... and so much better." i couldn't think of one book in particular that it was derivative of, though once i finished, "fried green tomatoes at the whistle-stop cafe" came to mind; if only because of the coming-of-age, race relations, menacing male, southern setting thing.

anyway, eh. ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
This book has moments in which it soars!

"People in general, would rather die than forgive. It's that hard. If God said in plain language, 'I'm giving you a choice, forgive or die,' a lot of people would go ahead and order their coffin."

These kinds of truths jump out at you throughout. It is an intricate examination of relationships and how we affect one another and are tied together. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 553 (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 (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kidd, Sue Monkprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arsuaga, CristinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frezza Pavese, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamia, JennaNarratorsecondary 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.)
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Great story about a young girl's journey to discover her mother and herself. Southern tone.
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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Average: (3.91)
0.5 13
1 117
1.5 23
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2.5 85
3 1516
3.5 344
4 2786
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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

» Publisher information page

HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

 

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