The Secret Life of Bees, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (11 ratings)

Description

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.

Information

Other Formats

£8.99

£7.85

 
Free Home Delivery

on all orders

 
Pick up orders

from local bookshops

Reviews

Showing 1 - 5 of 11 reviews.

  Previous  |  Next

Review by
3.5

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. When racial tension explodes in her life one summer afternoon, 14 year old Lily Owens springs her black housekeeper Rosaleen from hospital where she is being treated for a beating she received in jail from white men. Following the only information she knows about her dead mother, Lily and Rosaleen end up in the house of the Boatwright sisters, three black sisters who live on the honey the oldest sister August sells from her bee farm. Lily and Rosaleen find sanctuary in their home and Lily begins a journey of learning about herself, the world she lives in and the mother she longed to know. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The Boatwright sisters and their little faith of The Daughers of Mary fascinated me, and I had immense sympathy for Lily. It is well written, giving both humour and food for thought. The setting is gorgeous as well, I'd love to see rural South Carolina for myself some day.

Review by
4.5

I loved this book. A friend loaned it to me a long time ago, and i kept putting it off convinced i wouldn't like it, how shocked was i!A truly magical tale, told beautifully, about a white girl and her black friend in the time of USA's civil rights movement. With its central themes revolving around race, love and family values and set in South Carolina, this book evokes feelings and visions so realistic you can almost smell the honey.I did feel it started rushing a bit towards the end, but it quickly fixed itself and continued on with its beautiful descriptive imagery. I think it's more of a girly book, definitely an oprah book club type of book, but nonetheless, brilliant.

Review by
4

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while purely based on the wonderful reviews that this book has so I was really happy when my good friend Rachel brought me this book for Christmas last year. With the lovely weather we’ve been having as of late I decided to read this book with it being about summer, bees and honey and I found it to be a wonderful treat as sweet as the honey it talks so fondly about. This book is about a 14 year old girl called Lilly who has grew up believing she killed her mother at the age of 4. Unloved by her farther Lilly runs away with her only friend her coloured nanny Rosaleen. They end up stumbling upon an eccentric family of coloured women who keep bees and what follows is a moving story of friendship, racism, and forgiveness. I really loved the characters in this book and found the story to be well written. I especially loved the characters of May and August. I also really liked the little facts about bees at the start of each chapter and now have a completely different view on the creatures - I never knew they were so intelligent! I loved how the bees tied into the story and overall this was a great read. 4 stars.

Review by
5

From fantastic fiction.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.I have already seen the film and TBH didn’t think much of it so when I had the book I thought oh no but I was quite surprised. It turned out to be a very pleasant and heartwarming tale. It was a positive book and all the characters were living with hope that someday things would change for the better. The sisters and their friends hoping for a change in society and Lily hoping for the truth, whether it turns out to be what she wants to hear or not. As for Jack Palance taking a coloured girl to the cinema, I have had to google this and found this from Time magazine:"The Ugliness. In Tuscaloosa, Ala., one of the most bizarre incidents took place-indicating, if nothing else, how civil rights tensions may lead to ugly misunderstandings. Actor Jack Palance, his wife Virginia, and their three children, in Tuscaloosa to visit relatives, had a narrow escape from a mob when they went to a movie. Earlier in the day, Palance had signed autographs for both whites and blacks. When he and his family entered the newly desegregated Druid Theater, a rumor spread that a Negro woman had accompanied them. As it turned out, there were no Negroes in the theater at the time, but a crowd of nearly 1,000 whites gathered, pelted the cashier's cage and the marquee with rocks and bottles, shattered the windows and slashed the tires on Palance's rented car. Local cops took the Palances to the police station for protection."I would recommend this book if you want something sweet and sugary to read but with a message and meaning.

Review by
4

Really excellent - about slavery, and racism, and womanhood, and family, and secrets, and love, and freedom, and bees.  

  Previous  |  Next