A fabulous coming-of-age debut novel which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide and has now been made into a stunning feature film 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, ...
A fabulous coming-of-age debut novel which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide and has now been made into a stunning feature film 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.
Feb 2, 2012
Still have not received this book ordered it over a month ago have contacted the company that was supposedly shipping it but they have never re-contacted us. We have emailed them and asked them to resend the book or at least call us and talk to us and we have gotten nothing from them. To say the least I am not happy with this Company's lack of communication. If there is something you can do to resolve this I would certainly appreciate it
owner Wall2 Wall Words Milam Street Coffee shop
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.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-11-12 Honey-sweet but never cloying, this debut by nonfiction author Kidd (The Dance of the Dissident Daughter) features a hive's worth of appealing female characters, an offbeat plot and a lovely style. It's 1964, the year of the Civil Rights Act, in Sylvan, S.C. Fourteen-year-old Lily is on the lam with motherly servant Rosaleen, fleeing both Lily's abusive father T. Ray and the police who battered Rosaleen for defending her new right to vote. Lily is also fleeing memories, particularly her jumbled recollection of how, as a frightened four-year-old, she accidentally shot and killed her mother during a fight with T. Ray. Among her mother's possessions, Lily finds a picture of a black Virgin Mary with "Tiburon, S.C." on the back so, blindly, she and Rosaleen head there. It turns out that the town is headquarters of Black Madonna Honey, produced by three middle-aged black sisters, August, June and May Boatwright. The "Calendar sisters" take in the fugitives, putting Lily to work in the honey house, where for the first time in years she's happy. But August, clearly the queen bee of the Boatwrights, keeps asking Lily searching questions. Faced with so ideally maternal a figure as August, most girls would babble uncontrollably. But Lily is a budding writer, desperate to connect yet fiercely protective of her secret interior life. Kidd's success at capturing the moody adolescent girl's voice makes her ambivalence comprehensible and charming. And it's deeply satisfying when August teaches Lily to "find the mother in (herself)" a soothing lesson that should charm female readers of all ages. (Jan. 28) Forecast: Blurbs from an impressive lineup of women writers Anita Shreve, Susan Isaacs, Ursula Hegi pitch this book straight at its intended readership. It's hard to say whether confusion with the similarly titled Bee Season will hurt or help sales, but a 10-city author tour should help distinguish Kidd. Film rights have been optioned and foreign rights sold in England and France. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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