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The Secret Life of Bees Reviews
#996 in Books


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View our feature on Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees.

Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice. 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 "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina—a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love—a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

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    Recommended? You Betcha!
    December 10, 2008

    Since I work in a library I get all my material there, but the sale price is pretty good at chapters. Especially since the movie will be out soon (which I cannot wait to see).

    The book starts out with a young white girl who feels unloved by her father. When her nanny, a black woman in the south, stirs up racial problems in the town, they take off to find any scrap of information regarding Lily's dead mother. They end up on a honey farm run by 3 incredible characters. Here Lily discovers her mother's secrets, and unlocks the mysteries to life through beekeeping. She gains stregth, wisdom and power over her life through the influence of the beekeeping sisters and their Black Madonna in this coming of age story.

    It is on my shelf of best books read all year, and I read A LOT!

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