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Secret Life of Bees

The debut novel by non-fiction writer Sue Monk Kidd.

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How The Secret Life Of Bees Sting

  • Jun 27, 2010
Rating:
+4

While The Secret Life Of Bees is a fairly quick and enjoyable read, it is far more. For, it also provides lessons which often lead to enlightenment. Such lessons are due to the author's ability to create a  strong connection with the characters related to equality, friendship love and trust.

For example, unless one understands where one comes from, one cannot understand where one may be going. Regardless, the book does a good job of taking the reader on a journey which is as much educational as it is entertaining. However, one need be aware that once one starts reading this book, most likely one is going to have a hard time putting it down.

Although this book may be advanced for readers under twelve, most likely those over twelve are at an age where one can understand plot along with the twists and turns of same. As such, I would recommend that anyone age twelve and up read this book as it is a fairly easy read that is worth any time one may spend on such a journey.  

Set in the south, this is a marvelous piece of fiction which does a good job at allowing one to get a sense of how one would feel if one were actually living in the South at the time such actions took place.
 
For, although Lily's whining can be quite overwhelming,especially after and about the death of her Mother,  the twists and turns in the plot alone make it a good read. However, if one is going to present a character in such light, often times one may want to expect a similar response from an audience. In addition, some detail could be reduced within the book as it pertains to Lily and her Mother. Whereas, other characters are often not included enough overall.

Of course, while there are a few issues with both story and plot, of more concern is the lack of character development in the beginning of the book. As, I did not feel like I knew any of the characters well enough to be reading such detailed information about anyone. Therefore, I would suggest that the author work to include more about each character at the beginning rather than having introductions scattered throughout the story.

A complex diagram of equality, friendship, love and trust, this has to be one of the best political fiction books of our time. For, while some have lived through similar times, many others were not yet born. To this end, it is good that such books exist so that individuals alive today can better understand this diagram and the importance of all interlocking parts.

While this is a novel, it often comes across as a true story as it closely resembles the issues of the United States history of equal rights of the 1950s and 1960s, a struggle which, in many ways, still continues.  It is also a story of love and friendship, equality, support and trust. Therefore, it is a must read for anyone interested in such times.

Last but not least, while "The Secret Life Of Bees," did a good job at portraying what a number of individuals went through in those days, the film almost seemed some what outdated with regards to equal rights. This is because other struggles for equality have been going on, sometimes longer, than Civil Rights and continue to be a struggle even now.

To this end, while this is a great book about times of injustice and inequality which led to better times; I would love to see more books based on issues in Gay Rights, Immigration Rights, Womens Rights and other movements which were alive during that time especially those who are still struggling with finding equal rights even today, whether written in fact or created in fiction.

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June 30, 2010
Fantastic review write-up! Great job on explaining the ins and outs of this book!
 
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More The Secret Life of Bees (book) reviews
review by . June 23, 2010
A great way to examine the heated topic of race in the South.
This is a coming-of-age story, a powerful testimony to the redeeming quality of friendship among women and a wonderful reminder how love can heal. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves women's literature or just a good story.      Lily Owens' life has been changed starting with the afternoon her mother was killed.  Now, in fear for her safety, she is shipped off to South Carolina with caretaker Roasleen to the home of three bee-keeping sisters.  …
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
It's hard to describe this book without sounding corny. I'll be corny. it's inspirational and makes you smile. Read it if you like the mushy stuff, and ready it anyway if you're heartless and don't.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
:)
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Unlike most people, I was not really enamored by this book. It was just okay to me.
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
omg i love this.
Quick Tip by . June 28, 2010
I loved this book. As soon as I read it Sue Monk Kidd became one of my favorite authors!
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
A touching book about how friends become family and overcoming life's obstacles.
review by . June 24, 2010
DELETE THESE QUESTIONS IF/AFTER YOU RESPOND!!          I thought this was a pretty depressing book.         I enjoyed reading it and recommend it to any one who likes fiction with twists and turns      The book took place in the south        the plot was unrealistic     the young girl in the story was the main character            …
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
i liked this book
Quick Tip by . June 19, 2010
I didn't like this book. I wanted to like this book, but I didn't.
About the reviewer
Sharla Shotwell ()
Ranked #714
I am a longtime freelancer, poet-at-large,recipe guru, tarot reader and technical writer. I currently work freelance fortwo article writingsservices and a recipe website. The recipe shown is from a recipe … more
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In Sue Monk Kidd'sThe Secret Life of Bees, 14-year-old Lily Owen, neglected by her father and isolated on their South Carolina peach farm, spends hours imagining a blissful infancy when she was loved and nurtured by her mother, Deborah, whom she barely remembers. These consoling fantasies are her heart's answer to the family story that as a child, in unclear circumstances, Lily accidentally shot and killed her mother. All Lily has left of Deborah is a strange image of a Black Madonna, with the words "Tiburon, South Carolina" scrawled on the back. The search for a mother, and the need to mother oneself, are crucial elements in this well-written coming-of-age story set in the early 1960s against a background of racial violence and unrest. When Lily's beloved nanny, Rosaleen, manages to insult a group of angry white men on her way to register to vote and has to skip town, Lily takes the opportunity to go with her, fleeing to the only place she can think of--Tiburon, South Carolina--determined to find out more about her dead mother. Although the plot threads are too neatly trimmed,The Secret Life of Beesis a carefully crafted novel with an inspired depiction of character. The legend of the Black Madonna and the brave, kind, peculiar women who perpetuate Lily's story dominate the second half of the book, placing Kidd's debut novel squarely in the honored tradition of the Southern Gothic.--Regina Marler--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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Details

Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Date Published: January 28, 2003

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