Sue Monk Kidd's internationally bestselling first novel THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES has delighted many millions of readers around the world. 'Charming, funny, moving' The Times; 'A wonderful book, by turns sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris' Daily Telegraph Lily has grown up believing she ...
Sue Monk Kidd's internationally bestselling first novel THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES has delighted many millions of readers around the world. 'Charming, funny, moving' The Times; 'A wonderful book, by turns sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris' Daily Telegraph Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four. She not only has her own memory of holding the gun, but her father's account of the event. Now fourteen, she yearns for her mother, and for forgiveness. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, she has only one friend: Rosaleen, a black servant whose sharp exterior hides a tender heart. South Carolina in the sixties is a place where segregation is still considered a cause worth fighting for. 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 follow a trail left by the woman who died ten years before. Finding sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world, as about the mystery surrounding her mother.
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There is a sad beginning to this story, the father is abusing his 14 yr. old daughter. His anger forces the girl to run away from home and into a new life. She begins to heal and build a safe life with a household of beekeepers. It is a book that was hard to put down.
Nov 8, 2012
Secret life of Bees
Great story, very well written. Loved it, and sorry when I reached the end. Would take this book with me if I was stranded on a desert island.
Dec 3, 2011
Nothing like the flick
Sprinkled throughout this novel just when I am feeling that I am following a child's foolish fantasy is Sue Monk Kidd's description of scent and the memory it evokes for Lily. For example, upon recognizing her mother's scent on a fifth-grade teacher, who tells her it is Ponds Cold Cream, Lily is "shocked." But she is not upset by learning the source of the smell, or because the teacher donns it; her reaction is caused by the scent itself. For if the author wished to convey that the teacher shocked Lily, the word "shocked" would have been placed away from the word "scent" and nearer to the word "teacher." Instead, we read,
It was a shock when I came upon the scent [of my mother] on my fifth-grade teacher, who said it was nothing but plain ordinary Ponds Cold Cream.
This sentence structure conveys the feeling that scent evokes for the character, Lily. And that feeling is portrayed with a word derived from the French word choc, indicating an armed encounter, as in battle. Lily associates this lasting memory with her own inner struggle.
This technique is what carried me all the way through The Secret Life of Bees to the end.
Jul 14, 2011
Secret Life of Bees
Arrived in good condition and on time. This was an excellent read. Good depiction of life in the South.
Oct 21, 2010
Interesting coming of age story about life and real attitudes. Not PC or fake presentation.
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