Book Reviews of The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees
The Secret Life of Bees
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
ISBN-13: 9780142001745
ISBN-10: 0142001740
Publication Date: 1/28/2003
Pages: 336
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 5486

4 stars, based on 5486 ratings
Publisher: Penguin
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

741 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 40
A well written story of a teenager who leaves behind everything she has known in order to find out something about her mother's past. This is the type of story where the characters become your friends. You can't wait to read it and you hate to see the story end.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 22
I love, love, love this book. I usually don't even pick up a book about a mother/daughter relationship, but this one is different. Race relations in the South, beekeeping, abuse, first love - it's got it all! Complex, deep, powerful, and funny. A great choice!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 17
This is a really good book and unusual. It is about a white child who runs away from a father who is overcome with grief from the lost of his wife and cannot relate to a child. The child breaks her nanny out of jail and they run away together to seek her mother's family. They wind up being taken in by a 3 black women who own there own honey business. One of them was a nanny years ago to the childs' mother. This is set about the time of the civil rights movement. There are several sub stories going on, and I have not to tell you all the action or themes. I hightly recommnend the book.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 17
One of the finest books I have ever read. 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. This is a book that should not be missed by anyone who loves literature or just a good story. I highly recommend it!!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 200 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
I really enjoyed this book. I thought I had lost it, and was just going to reorder it when my friend came over to my house with it. It is so good, I had taken it everywhere with me ! It's about a mother and daughter's relationship. It can get extremely sad, so be forewarned. It was not only a good fiction book, but offered some good life lessons as well.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Adored this book. Set in the south and very easy to read. Plan on reading agin in the future.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
This book has a magical quality that you rarely find. I loved this book. It was a wonderful story and I hated to finish it.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 133 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
I was recommended this book from a memeber of this site. I'm so glad I listen to her! Very touching story that will grab you from the start. You'll also learn alot about bees along the way!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I loved this book. Very interesting characters and settings. You want the book to go on and on. Set in the south in 1964.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I just finished reading this book, and Sue Monk Kidd once again held me enthralled to the last page. The story of Lily, Roasaleen, and the Boatwright sisters was extremely compelling. The language Kidd used to tell this story was luminous.

I loved her word pictures. The turn of a phrase caught me so off guard once in awhile that I just had to stop and re-read it. Kidd doesn't resort to cliched sayings. I enjoyed learning more about bee keeping. Kidd weaves stories and legends of bees with apiary facts thoughout the book. I also gained a better understanding about life in a small corner of South Carolina just as the Civil Rights movement was gaining ground in 1964.

Now if Kidd would only follow this book up with a sequel. I want to know how things turned out with Zach and Lily!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 112 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
One of my favorite fiction books of all times. It is a magical story about a white girl in SC back in the early 60's who seeks refuge with a black family of three adult sisters who are bee keepers. She is looking for clues about her mother who died when she was young. The story is amazingly beautiful and full of redemption and love while also reflecting the tumultuous era of civil rights fights. A must read!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Loved Loved Loved this book! I seriously couldn't put it down, it was so good. The young character of the story was well written, and I really felt for her. Sue Monk Kidd writes in a way that you really can't wait to see what happens next.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
It is rare that a book can make me smile and bring tears to my eyes. This book did just that. It's a wonderful, heartstring-tugging story.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 160 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
My girlfriend found out that I had been walking around this Earth having never read this book and went right over to her bookshelf, handed it to me and insisted that I read it. I surprisingly ate this book up. I didn't know what it was about before picking it up, but what a complete pleasure it was to read this book. I'd recommend it to anyone. You just feel good while reading it.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
Helpful Score: 4
This book was touching, realistic in its descriptions of civil rights issues in the mid-20th century South (I remember how it was from growing up as a white child in the 50's and 60's in Alabama), and at the same time a beautiful, inspiring love story about how women - no matter what their race or background - can bond together as friends. There were also funny parts to the book. It's everything rolled into one, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 136 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
The tale of one motherless daughter's discovery of what family really means - and of the strange and wondrous places we find love.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
this is a wonderful book, in my top ten favorites.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 472 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Excellent read! Told from the perspective of Lily, a fourteen year old girl, "The Secret Life of Bees" raises the subject of racism in the South in the early days of the civil rights movement. Lily reminds all of us of how the world should be viewed when we're not tainted by the society...I also have a deeper and better understanding about bees and how they can sometime relate to human life.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book really made me think about different situations in society and in my life. Excellent story. Some parts are disturbing, however, overall, a wonderful read. The imagery and characterization is great. I was drawn into this book very quickly and did not want to put it down. This is the kind of book you will find yourself thinking about weeks after you have finished reading it. It is one you will want to tell other people about it and discuss it with others, too.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book is about a young girl, Lily Owens, whose life has revolved around the afternoon her mother was killed. Through the course of several events, she leaves her home in search of the truth about her mother's past and finds a trio of eccentric bee-keeping sisters who take her in and help her find the truth.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Beautifully written book about a young girl named Lily, and her acceptance of her mother's death, and her finding a new family in an unexpected place.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I loved this book... a fantastic coming of age story.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Young girl finds solace with three sisters and housekeeper who helps her make sense out of a tragic event in her past and the confusion and turmoil she carries in her soul because of it.

I fought with myself over the past year about buying this book and couldn't fathom the popularity of it. In fact I was a bit put out after reading the back cover and thinking, "Oh another one of those type of stories...no thanks." If it wasn't for this site, I would not have bothered. But after page three I was hooked. This was a wonderful, wonderful book. The connection you feel between the girl and the women are one of the heart and soul, truly experienced in every word read. The characters are solid and complex, the plot heartbreaking and rewarding. This is a must read.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 94 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is about a young girl who lives with her distant and abusive father. She believes she is responsible for her mothers death. She takes a journey with her Negro housekeeper, after the housekeeper has a run-in with some white men and she is arrested. The journey takes them to a beekeeper and her sisters. Enjoyable read!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend, and I was pleasantly surprised! I fell into the world of the civil rights movement, the south and a little girl who had lost her mother far too young, and had so many questions about everything that it was no wonder she had to go elsewhere to find some answers. The imagery in this book is so rich, I could almost feel the water of the creek, hear the songs and taste the honey.

I'm not going to say anything further because I don't want to give away any secrets, but suffice it to say that if you love to lose yourself in a book, this is the one for you.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I've heard some people call it a literature break through. I don't think that's entirely accurate, but it is a very good read.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 131 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wonderful story of a young white girl growing up in a time when blacks had no rights and were fighting for them. She finds that her own family doesn't give her the love and support she needs once her mother dies and ends up finding the love and companionship not only in the black lady who cares for her but in many others who simply take her in as her own. She realizes that all she has heard about the blacks just simply isn't true... and learns that color has no bearing on loving someone. Wonderful story!!!!! And it will make you crave honey too!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Captivating story,took me back to adolesence and held me there throughout the whole story. One of those classics,you read... and never ,ever forget.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Yet another wonderful pro female (not to mention pro diversity) story. This one was so touching and lovely. Unpredictable, moving and superbly written. One of the best books I have ever read. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The Secret Life of Bees is a delightful story of love and friendship set in the segregated south of the '60s, filled with the joys and sorrows of those days. It was a captivating read. I enjoyed the tender relationships Kidd developed, and the way she wove the world of beekeeping into the story line. The overt feminism message was over the top for me, but it was still a great read.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was an excellent book! Read it in 2 days - I just couldn't lay it down. And if I did, I was thinking about it all the time. I haven't read a book this good in a long, long time. Very refreshing and insightful. Sue Monk Kidd put together a great story, one that taught me a few lessons and made me look at my life in a new light.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Loved this book! It's all about loyalty, and learning about oneself. I loved how it crossed racial lines without being preachy.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Highly emotional. Hilarious. Moving. Spiritual. All these words describe the debut novel from writer Sue Monk Kidd, "The Secret Life of Bees". Set in the early 60s in South Carolina, the book explores themes of racism, motherlessness, feminine divinity, and growing up. The protagonist, Lily Owens, is a deeply saddened 14-year-old with an emotionally (and occasionally physically) abusive father, who is searching for a mother figure she never knew. Her journey with her black housekeeper, Rosaleen, takes them to the Pepto-Bismol-colored house of the black Boatwright sisters, beekeepers and cultured women who help Lily awaken her true self and discover the mother figures surrounding her. 100% recommended, one of my favorite books (and the movie is incredible, too)!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 255 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wow! I'd already read the book, but I still really enjoyed this audiobook. One day I listened to way too much at once -- I heard Jenna Lamia's voice in my head for hours afterward. (This performance earned her a 2003 Audie award nomination for Best Solo Narration.) Her reading made a few things jump out at me that I'd glossed over before.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
Helpful Score: 2
This is an excellent book on many levels. This author was brilliant in her ability to present her story from the point of view of the adolescent struggling with the crises of her life, and yet seeing her struggle from the perspective of the adult who has overcome them. The people who really matter in our lives may play no role in our birth. Support and help comes from where ever you let it. There are lessons here for all of us. It just depends on what role you happen to play in the beehive.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
Helpful Score: 2
I loved this book. It was so easy to fall in love with each of the characters as Kidd weaved them into each other's lives. Her writing style made me feel like I could so easily relate to every word and line as she revealed it. Hated to see the book end.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wow, what an amazing book. It made me laugh, cry, and just yearn for those old days, being a little girl, surrounded by all the wise women in my family. Very touching book. It's a must read for everyone.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 148 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Loved this book. In the vein of "To Kill a Mockingbird", deals with racism in the south and how some families forged bonds despite the color barriers of the time. Recommend reading book before seeing the movie.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
Helpful Score: 2
I love her writing! I enjoyed this book and found it to be an easy read. What a little gem!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I asbolutely loved this book. It hooked me from day 1 and I finished it in two sittings. It's about a white girl who runs away from home to escape her abusive father. She breaks her Nanny out of jail and sets out on a journey to find people who may have knew her mom. She ends up at a house of 3 black women. There are a few sus-stories in there regarding the women at the house. But this is one awesome read. I highly recommend it.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Sue Monk Kidd's "The Secret Life of Bees" is a well-written account of a girl, Lily, coming to grips with her turbulent childhood set amidst the backdrop of the civil rights movement and featuring a very black-and-white storyline. I eagerly read each page of the book, trying to figure out how Lily was connected to the colored Boatright family.

I have to say that this book is not predictable. Not all endings or plot twists are happy, but this book is a compelling read. give it a try!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read it cover to cover in one day. This is a very good book, moments of laughter followed by teary eyes.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is such a great book for not only teens but adults! It is not only an easy read but hard to put down! I really enjoyed all the tid-bits about bees themselves. I highly recommend this book for all to read.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a beautiful story of friendship, love, and family. These women have such a strong bond and love for one another. It is such a moving story. I didn't want the book to end.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I absolutely loved this book. It made me both laugh and cry. It was one of those books that you cant wait to see how it turns out but when it does actually end, your sorry that it has.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a wonderful story that will make you laugh and make you cry. Although the bee ladies were a bit eccentric, I found it hard to put this book down. I highly recommend it.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Heart warming and wholesome story about what family really is. Easy to read and believable and enjoyable. Good character development.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was such a fantastic story. Sue Monk Kidd is so descriptive of her characters that she makes them relatable. Although I do not share their time, ethnic background, family dynamic - I was able to relate to them through her writing. Her characters just come to life immediately in her writing style!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I first read this book as part of my church's book group. In outlining the coming of age of a young girl in the South as the Civil Rights movement came alive, it offers the bittersweet insight into white Southern families and the African-Americans their lives were so intimately entwined with. This book is a true surprise, and if you enjoyed the "Ya-Ya Sisterhood," I know you will love this book, too.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I just finished reading this book, and Sue Monk Kidd once again held me enthralled to the last page. The story of Lily, Roasaleen, and the Boatwright sisters was extremely compelling. The language Kidd used to tell this story was luminous.

I loved her word pictures. The turn of a phrase caught me so off guard once in awhile that I just had to stop and re-read it. Kidd doesn't resort to cliched sayings. I enjoyed learning more about bee keeping. Kidd weaves stories and legends of bees with apiary facts thoughout the book. I also gained a better understanding about life in a small corner of South Carolina just as the Civil Rights movement was gaining ground in 1964.

Now if Kidd would only follow this book up with a sequel. I want to know how things turned out with Zach and Lily!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 50 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great story set in S. Carolina in '64. Tells of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory for the afternoon her mother was killed. Great novel, inspiring, moving, well written.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a good book, better than your average read. I was looking forward to the author's next book but then heard that it wasn't very good so I haven't read it yet. This is definitely worth reading before you see the movie.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
For me, this is the perfect beach read - in fact, I read it on my honeymoon. It's not too complex and doesn't require a whole lot of thought, but at the same time, it's well-written, has engaging characters, and an interesting enough plot that it's a page-turner. You definitely get attached to many of the characters. I would never vote this into the pantheon of literary classics, but at the same time, it's not just bubblegum, either. A very satisfying read. It's the kind of book that I like to leave behind on the beach when I'm done, so someone else can enjoy it, since I'll never have any need to read it again.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book! Probably one of the better ones I have read in a while. It was so different than anything I have read before and I love the writing style. It seems like you are in the room watching everything take place. I would definitely read this one again later!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 534 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
In Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, 14-year-old Lily Owen, neglected by her father and isolated on their Georgia 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 Bees is 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.
AMAZON.COM REVIEW
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of at least my top ten best books. A definite page turner and I didn't want to put it down even to sleep. I can see why it has been on the best seller list for about 2 yrs.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 66 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Loved this book from start to finish! A very sweet story of a young girl in the South in 1964 searching for motherly love and finding it amongst other women. This book was really touching and wonderful! A story I won't soon forget.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book! I definitely recommend it.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 62 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was suggested to me by a few of my friends after they heard how much I loved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. Another southern fiction novel, I found this to be excellent summer reading! I took my time with it as my summer schedule has been out of control thus far. It seems like I havent had much time to sit and read, but I did take this book with me when I traveled (just in case there WAS an extra minute or two).

Sue Monk Kidds storytelling is so rich that the reader is constantly enticed and interested. Not once did I find myself trying to figure out what would happen, rather I let Kidd tell the story and I enjoyed every word. I loved the diversity in the relationships Lily shares with all the characters (her rough and unrelenting father, T. Ray, her loving friend and mother figure Rosaleen, the caretaker relationship with August, the forbidden and complicated attraction to Zach). There are two other Boatwright sisters: May, the troubled sister who keeps a wailing wall outside the house to release her anguish and June, the hardheaded, skeptical sister.

Theres something about a southern fiction story that is so comforting. Maybe its the southern charm, the hospitality, or the history that comes with the surroundings. Whatever it is, it makes me want to sit on a porch with some sweet tea and share lunch with new friends. The way these three Boatwright sisters take in Lily and Rosaleen is inspiring and endearing. Lily is a strong minded teenage girl who longs to be loved and feel wanted and protected. Its easy to root for her and sympathize with her throughout her journey. I applaud Sue Monk Kidd for the complex and intriguing character development!

This debut novel charmed the pants off of my expectations. I am looking forward to seeing the movie this week as some girlfriends and I already have a movie date lined up! It will be interesting to see the interpretation of the story once Hollywood got a hold of it :)

If you havent already read this novel (or seen the movie) I encourage you to pick it up. And as a side bonus, youll learn trivia about honeybees and the beekeeping world. :)
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was really deep. It drew me in from the very beginning and held me. I had papers due and children to care for and I kept coming back to this book! It is the tale of a 14 year white girl, but it is also the tale of the women who helped her and lifted her up and brought her to a better place in her life.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I didn't see the movie, and I'm glad. This book is a perfect summer read! it really makes you feel like you're in the south. I loved it.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is the first book I have read in a while. My sister was going to read it, so I bought a copy and we read it together (nice way to stay connected over long distance!). Overall, the book was an easy read, however it kept me interested. The book didn't really slow down until the end, and even then I didn't realy think it slowed down that much. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next! Its a book about a teen who runs away from home in search for answers about her mother. What she learns alomg the way can be applied to anyone's life. I thought the little quotes at the begining of each chapter were neat. I used them to try and figure out what might happen within that chapter. I would HIGHLY reccomend this book!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I had read different opinions on this book so I ordered it through the swap. It was an easy book to read and with some recalled memories and coincidences, Lily and Rosaleen escape to South Carolina where her mother had retreated before she was murdered. Arriving there they are taken in by an eccentric black trio as family and learn about bees and their upkeep. It is a story of bonding, extended family love. Very good reading.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I don't like to give more info than what the cover does, but I really enjoyed this book. I had already read the book 3 times before the movie came out, and read again after seeing the movie! This has been put on the shelf with my classics and all time favorites!
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Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed the book...but I really loved the movie!
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Helpful Score: 1
Four stars from me as well. This is a readable and thought-provoking book set in the south in 1964. A motherless white girl, Lily Owens, has been raise by a black caregiver who sells honey from the bee hives she tends. The racism they encounter and the search for Lily's mother's past are the core subjects of the book. It is well worth your time to read this one.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
Helpful Score: 1
I thought this book was amazing. All of the characters are so well thought out and portrayed. I feel most people could relate on some level to the characters and the story of this book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys books about people and their struggle for finding their place in this world.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 71 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Something rich and different. Colorful characters & writing...the kind of book that takes you away for awhile. Saw the movie & it was exactly how I pictured the book, which is so rare. A favorite.
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Helpful Score: 1
As soon as I finished reading this book I ordered it on Pay Per View. Both the book and the movie were amazing.
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Helpful Score: 1
I smiled and cried along with the main character of this book. As a motherless daughter looking for maternal guidance, this young girl exudes a perseverance that is admirable.
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Helpful Score: 1
A beautiful book
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is easy to read, great plot, and compelling characters! Great book! Must read.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
There are a few books that I can name that have had such an impact on me that I would remember the story so vividly long after the book was finished. "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" is one of them, and has long been a favorite, as well as the author, Maya Angelou.

The Secret Life of Bees has now been added to that short list.

This story about a young southern teenage girl, born of love, but raised in turmoil, and her coming of age during the civil unrest of 1964 when black Americans were finally given the right to vote. Finding herself a runaway with her black housekeeper/nanny in tow, she sets out on a journey to "find" the mother who died when she was four, and finds so much more.

This book will make you laugh, will make you angry, will make you hurt, and will definitely make you cry, but most of all it will make you wish it didn't end.

This will definitely become a favorite on my bookshelf.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A wonderful read! The connection that grows between Lily and the sisters is amazing - a goal for all mothers/daughters. I would recommend this one to everyone.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 117 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved every bit of this story .I loved learning about the bees and the honey.You couldnt help but love the characters they were all great.I couldnt put the book down read it in two days.I still think about the book today.Some parts of the story were funny and some parts sad.I also think the movie was just as good as the book.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wonderful story of youth, civil rights, and coming into one's own.
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I loved this book. I read it with my book club. Many different thought provoking characters and themes. Also has questions for discussions at the end as well as an interview with the author
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Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh, unyielding father, Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating, blurred memory--the afternoon her mother was killed, when Lily was four. Since then, her only real companion has been the fierce-hearted, and sometimes just fierce, black woman Rosaleen, who acts as her stand-in mother.

When Rosaleen insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily knows it's time to spring them both free. They take off in the only direction Lily can think of, toward a town called Tiburon, South Carolina--a name she found on the back of a picture amid the few possessions left by her mother.

There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters named May, June, and August. Lily thinks of them as the calendar sisters and enters their mesmerizing secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women. Maternal loss and betrayal, guilt and forgiveness entwine in a story that leads Lily to the single thing her heart longs for most.

The Secret Life of Bees has a rare wisdom about life--about mothers and daughters and the women in our lives who become our true mothers. A remarkable story about the divine power of women and the transforming power of love, this is a stunning debut whose rich, assured, irresistible voice gathers us up and doesn't let go, not for a moment. It is the kind of novel that women share with each other and that mothers will hand down to their daughters for years to come.
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It has been ages since I have read a book I enjoyed this much. I love books about the South, coming of age, and those who long for love and understanding. I simply could not put this book down. If I had to, I returned to it as soon as possible. I recommend this book to anybody. I am sure that you will love it as much as I do. I have already recommended it to all of my friends.
Genny
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"The tale of one motherless daughter's discovery of what family means and of the strange and wondrous places we find love." The Washington Post

Set in South Carolina in 1964,.. when Lily's black "stand-in mother" insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free.

Great read.
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I really loved this book, so much so that I rented the movie to watch it. The book was filled with more raw emotion than the movie. But it was also filled with pain, love and redemption.

Written in the first person by a 14 yr old girl named Lily Owens.Set in 1964 in South Carolina, Lily writes about her life which has been shaped by the blurred memory of the day her mother was killed.

Lily's caretaker, the fierce-hearted Roseleen, insults the three worst racists in town and gets beaten and jailed, Lily sets them both free and they escape to Tiburon, South Carolina- a town that holds the secret to her mother's past.

Taken in by three eccentric, educated, beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced into the mesmerizing world of bees, honey and the Black Madonna.

This is a story about divine female power and love. A worthy read and worthy to hand down to your daughter. I am.
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This one of my all time favorite stories. I love the characters. I both laughed and cried. Some of my favorite quotes come from this book.
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This is one of the best books that came out in its publication year, in my opinion. An excellent story of love and friendship among women, and especially bonding and giving freely of oneself to another who is in need.
I've recommended this book to so many people and I haven't talked to anyone who hasn't like it.
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This book is rich in symbolism as character, Lily searches for the truth about her memory of her mother's death. A wonderful story about the strength of women.
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Taking place during the civil rights movement, this is the story of a little girl who runs away from a sad home to find herself smack dab in the arms of three older ladies full of life and flavor. I thought this book was cute, easy-reading, and recommend it: 4/5. Everyone should give this shorter book a try.
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Fourteen-year-old Lily Owens has only a blurred memory of her mother, as she is growing up in Sylvan, South Carolina, with her daddy, T. Ray, and Rosaleen, her black "stand-in mother". It's the Sixties, and when self-respecting Rosaleen has a run-in with three of the biggest racists in town, Lily takes up her cause and engineers Rosaleen's escape, and her own. The two run away to the town written on the back of a mysterious photo that Lily feels holds the secret to her mother's past. They become members of the household of an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters. Lily learns about beekeeping, the Black Madonna, and the secret of her mother's past, and at last is able to reconcile with her 'unloving' father, and to move confidently into young womanhood.
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I enjoyed this story of a young girl, Lily, trying to overcome the difficulties in her life in the pre-Civil Rights South. She has to live with the knowledge that she shot her mother and how to deal with a very angry father who takes his anger out on her.

When she breaks her black nanny out of a police guarded hospital room and runs away with her to find out about her mother, her life begins to change for the better and she learns that even though the truth about her mother isn't the fairy tale she has in her head, the real truth helps her to move forward into the truth of her life and who she can be.
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A great story about a girl trying to remember past and finding her future. A wonderful novel and full of love and inspiration for all women.
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Set in South Carolina in 1964. Isolated on a SC peach farm with a neglectful and abusive father, 14 year old Lilly Ownes has spent much of her life longing for her mother, Deborah, who died amid mysteriuos circumstances when Lily was 4. This is a story of love, conviction and forgiveness. I thought it was a good book, a must read for anyone unfamiliar with the Civil Rights era.
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Of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of books I've read 'The Secret Life of Bees' is my absolute favorite.

Enough said.
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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. Lily's most vivid memory is that she 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 is a 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.

Great book!!!
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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 black "stand-in mother" insults 3 of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them free. They escape to S.C. where the secret to her mother's past lies.
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This was a wonderful book about family. The kind of family you find in some of the most unexpected of places. And love that rises above the cultural boundries we've set for ourselves.
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This is one of those books that you give to all of your girlfriends. It is such a sweet coming of age story and I recommend it to everyone. I've read it several times and then made the mistake of watching the movie which didn't do it any justice. Great book club pick! I haven't come across anyone who hasn't loved this book.
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Well written, I enjoyed this book immensely. Kept my interest all the way through, and kept me up later than usual trying to get 'just one more chapter' read.
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Wonderful novel about a young lady coming of age. If you love Southern novels with a true reflection of the culture that the South embraces, you'll love this one!
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This was one of the best books that I have ever read. I highly recommend it. A young girl leaves her father behind to learn about her mother's past and makes some special friends in the process.
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Sweet and easily written book about some harsh and wonderful subjects. Easy to get into and finish quickly.
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"Send love to the bees". This is a line from the book that I use in my own life when I run across one. Of course the relationships in this novel are just as important as the bees, but that line had a profound effect on me. I loved this book and think you will enjoy it too.
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The secret life of bees is a well written book, easy story line to follow & a great read. Lily's mother died in an accident when she was 4. Her father was cruel. She had a "colored" woman (1960's era) for a nanny named Rosaleen. Rosaleen wants to vote President Johnson signs the Civil Right's Act. But Rosaleen has to know how to spell her name properly before she can get a voter's card. Rosaleen & Lily walk to town. Take a rest at a white church where Rosaleen finds a couple of hand held fans that she grabs before walking on. At the outskirts of town Rosaleen spits tobacco on the feet of three prominant white men, because they were making fun of her. She gets beaten, then arrested & beaten again. Lily's father was called to come get her, which he did. But, he did not get Rosaleen. Lily busts Rosaleen out of the hospital (where she is still under arrest), and the race is on. They find themselves in a bee farm in a small town in south carolina. Lily is in search of her dead mother's past life. Will she find it? At the Bee Farm?
This is a good read. 5 star book.
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Helpful Score: 1
I found this story very compassinate . ienjoyed reading it
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This was a wonderful book! Set in 1964 during the Civil Rights, Lily Owens is a young girl struggling to find herself. She lost her mother at a young age and her father turned into a cold, heartless man. After her stand-in mother, a black woman named Rosaleen, is arrested and beaten, Lily breaks her out of the hospital and they run away together. Lily and Rosaleen find there way to 3 black women who take them in. Once there, Lily is finally able to put the pieces of her life together with the help of these wonderful women. The book takes you through the racist times and how these women and one girl find love inside themselves. It's truly a heartwarming story. I would highly recommend this book.
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In Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, 14-year-old Lily Owen, neglected by her father and isolated on their Georgia 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...
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Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book from beginning to end!

You will fall in love with Lily Owens and her adventures at the pink house. Wait until you meet the sisters! (May, June and August) They are hilarious! This book is set in the south back when "black" and "whites" did not mix. So you get a small history lesson as you go. Not to mention all you learn about the bees.

This is a great book if you are a sister, mother, or a daughter.
I would rate this as one of my all time favorite books and consider it one of the all time classics.

The Secret Life of Bees is coming to the Big Screen 2008!!! So be sure to read the book!

(sorry I don't have the book to list, it was from the library!)
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This was a deeply satisfying, enjoyable read. The young protagonist is engaging and believable, and it's easy to hang on her every adventure. A great coming home and coming of age tale.
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This book had several places that made me cry. Excellent story!!
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Really bad thing happens to child, things go from bad to worse, warm and poignant scenes mixed in, some semblance of resolution by the end. Typical bestseller writing.
Really, it's not a bad book. Good characters, great lines, laugh out loud stuff, beautiful interweaving of nature here and there, and the warmth, like I said. It's just that it was exactly what I expected. I still enjoyed it enough to read to the end, but not enough to keep.
For real facts in the summary, this is about a teen girl growing up in 1960s south, facing racism and life without a mother and finding her way among the women of her life.
For those wanting to avoid it, fair amount of swearing.
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A must read for every woman, preferrably in their late teens or early 20s. A spellbinding, can't put it down, book.
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I loved this book! The Secret Life of Bees is set in South Carolina during the struggle for Equal Rights, and tells the story of Lily Owens whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. Her mean father T. Ray tells Lily that she killed her mother. Her fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother" Rosaleen insults 3 of the deepest racists in town when she goes in to register taking Lily with her. Lily sees Rosaleen beaten and thrown in jail and hides until she can spring Rosaleen and they can run away to Tiburon, South Carolina - the town that holds the secret to her mother's past. A wonderful book.
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Helpful Score: 1
I didn't think I would like it at all... but my mother gave it to me, so I gave it a try. I took it on a business trip on and was engaged enough after meetings all day to stay up late and finish. I have not seen the movie to be able to compare.
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Wonderful book. Humor is blended with the harsh realities of racial inequality of 40 years ago, and the characters are people you wish you could really know. Terrific, terrific book.
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Great quick read. Beautifully written, easy to understand. I thought the movie did not do any justices of this novel. All the characters of this book is very colorful and moving.
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One of the best books I have read. The characters are a perfect mix of everyone you have known and everyone you wish they could be. A rich and vivid story missing the complications of profanity, nudity or violence. I say missing facetiously. It wasn't until days after finishing the book did I realize it was void of what so many books/movies find essential. This story stands on it's own.
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I'll be the oddball out and admit that I didn't really get into this book. I forced myself to finish reading it, but in my opinion, it was only ok.
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This is one of those very very rare books that I believe can actually work as a movie. I haven't seen the movie, but the writing is so vivid you can absolutely see everything in your head. It is a beautiful and somewhat odd story that will move you in ways you wouldn't expect. There are things in this story I certainly never thought I would care about and yet they really had an impact. I cannot think of any group of readers who would not really enjoy this book.
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I was very surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. It was a very easy flowing read.
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I highly recommend listening to this book via audio. The reader, a young girl is fabulous. I regret I can't remember her name. Excellent book. I was however disappointed with her next release, The Mermaid Chair.
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The Secret Life of Bees is compelling and well written. You feel like the characters are your friends by the time the book is completed. The only draw back to the book is the interweaving of "female divinity" throughout it's storyline. The degrading of other religious beliefs is unfortunate.
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Helpful Score: 1
Set in South Carolina in 1964, 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 black "stand-in-mother". Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town. Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters. Lisly is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.
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Helpful Score: 1
I had seen this book at Barnes & Noble on the popular books table and have always passed it up. Finally had the chance to grab it on the swap and am so glad I did. I have not enjoyed a book this much in many, many years. It truly transported me in time and place each and every time I picked it up. Can't recommend it enough!
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This is an absolutely amazing read. You'll instantly be transported back to the rural south in the 60s, where you'll experience love, friendship, and beekeeping. One of the best books I've read all year.
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A very good book. A coming of age story in the American South in 1964. A young girl finds "the power of women coming together to heal, to mother each other and themselves, and to create a sanctuary of true family and home."
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Practically perfect in every way. I never met a person who didn't read this book and love it.
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This is an amazing read filled with beautiful prose and philosophy. Kidd's characters are filled with life in the most delightful way; full of flaws and heart. Family can be found in the most unlikely places. READ THIS!
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Helpful Score: 1
this is a fascinating book. I loved the characters portrayed. My only criticism would be that i got a little drawn away from the story by the worship of the wooden "Mary". but, just the same, it was a great book, well done, with a great story line.
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Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed the book, wanted to read it before i saw the movie. The book has some very tragic moments, but it was very well written. They seemed to have picked good actors for the film.
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A lovely story about finding the courage to face your darkest fears, and the redemptive power of love.
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I enjoyed this book. Lisa
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Great book!
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Story of a young white girl dealing with the death of her mother. She runs away to escape her abusive father. She befriends a black family during a time when there was still an issue of whites socializing with blacks. A heart warming story, that was enjoyable to listen to. Highly recommend.
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Excellent read. Finished in one day!
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A compelling novel of a young girl growing up in the South without a mother. She finds the love and acceptance she needs in an unusual place. A great story.
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In Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, 14-year-old Lily Owen, neglected by her father and isolated on their Georgia 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 Bees is 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.
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Helpful Score: 1
Tale of a young girl in the deep sount. She sets out to find all that she can about her mother. Great read!
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Story of a young motherless white girl with her beloved negro nanny that fled a ruthless father and them human rights issues in South Carolina after the Civil Rights Bill was passed. Heart wrenching to see what happens to a small child when they loose their mother. Good reading.
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I really enjoyed the story and the style of writing.
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great slice of life from rural South Carolina from a child's eyes
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If you liked The Help, you'll enjoy this book. If you liked The Shack, you'll love this book. Sue Monk Kidd takes on the racial issues of the 1960's and adds in a young white girl's traumatic upbringing to create a story that grabs you and won't let go. The solace the young girl eventually finds took me back to The Shack in many ways.
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A good book about growing up and realizing that life isn't always how you'd like it to be, but that you can still find happiness.
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Well written. It all comes down to the basics: everybody needs a friend to understand them.
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A wonderful story, great characters, a must read for everyone, I made my two teen daughters read this and recommended it to my book club, I found it hard to put down and read all through the weekend. The characters are well rounded and I lived the bee quotes at each chapter.
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A masterful story, both heart-wrenching and heart-warming, of a white girl and an African-American woman in the American South at the time of the signing of the civil rights acts, who find refuge from an abusive father and a racist society in the solidarity of African-American women.
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"This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come." This is from the back of the book and I couldn't say it any better myself.
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Such excellent prose. Read in an accent that changed my Texan to Carolinian for days.
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I read this book a couple of years ago and couldn't put it down. I actually then re-read it last year. It's one of those books that you stay up all night to finish, even though you know you have to get up in the morning for work. The characters and their relationships are so rich and quite wonderful. I started panicking when I realized there were only a couple of pages left-I definitely wanted a sequel!

A side note: the movie was a big let-down for me. As usual, the book was much better.
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Exceptional book with intriguing images that are hard to forget.
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love, love, love it! CD read by beautiful southern voice sounds just like your in the room listening to story.
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What's not to like? This is an uplifting and engaging story that you will want to re-read. Highly recommended.
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I really enjoyed this book, my generation hasn't had to deal with race issues like this so it was very thought provoking for me. it made me smile and cry.
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Loved it! Wasn't sure at first, but you become part of the story... excellent!
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What an excellent book. Just finished reading it last night. I have ordered the movie and can't wait to see it. The whole story line of strong women and bonding between the women, no matter the color, is heart warming.
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Very heart warming and heart wrenching coming of age story. I really enjoyed the experience of hearing the story told out loud.
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This book is a great read. Heartwarming, heartrending and wonderful. A bit of odd character invented theology. This particular book has been well read but is in good shape for another several reads!!
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This book reminded me a bit of 'To kill a mockingbird', but it is a much easier and simple read. Nicely written and some hillarious observations by the lead character.
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Excellent, fast read.
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For once, a book as good as the hype. The narration is exceptional, and the story is universal. Set in the South in the 60's, right after the passing of the civil rights act, this story is a particularly good one to read now - as our country takes another giant step forward....
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a girl finds the secret of her family's past. well-written (delightful, even) and i was a little surprised that i liked it - the writing is not of the usual genre that i read.
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Now this is a story that lit up my soul. I enjoyed it from beginning to end with good prose, unexpected situations and reactions to same by the characters. Told by a young girl who has insight far beyond her years and humor to balance the challenges. The reader in the audio version did a fantastic job. :)
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Wow! I'm still impressed a week later. There isn't a woman alive who can't relate to one (or most likely, all) of the characters. An important reading to understand the South in the 1960's but more importantly to understand women of all ages, no matter their color or age.
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During the early 1960s, a white 14 year old girl and her black nanny ran away from her mean father and found themselves living with three black sisters, one of whom was a nanny to the girl's mother. Blacks and whites living together was not a very acceptable thing to do then but the girl found love with these women that she never knew before. Her mother died when she was four.
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One of my all time favorite books! Ms. Kidd's writing style is magical. I couldn't put this book down and I often find myself rereading some of the lines from the story. This is a book I won't part with and one you will fall in love with! A story of hope and of the ties that bind us. This is a must read! (My writing instructor found this book to be slow, but honestly, I thought it was lyrical.) I even enjoyed learning all about bees. Enjoy!
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I really loved this story. At first listen I was unsure of my pick- possibly due to the despair you feel for a girl that wasn't given a fair shot from the beginning. Soo very glad that I chose to listen further, because the story continue to mature and I couldn' t stop listening. I HAD to know what was to become of all the characters. Well written and narrated.
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Great book. Highly recommend.
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This book kept me interested the entire way through! I was worried I wouldn't like it but I ended up loving it!
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Good book. Nice to have unabridged copy.
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Excellent story! Your heart will break for this young girl. Unabridged
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i loved it
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This is one of the most touching and beautiful stories I have read in a very long time! The connection between the women, then bees and the heartache that life brings all are brought together with such beauty and in such an achingly painful way that anyone who has gone through any sort of pain at all in life will identify. I recommend this to people from pre-teen to 99! It is a story of loss, of hope, and of learning that anger is not strength, but that turning loss, pain and anger into a love and understanding that can be sent back into the world is the true strength that lies in every woman's heart. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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Quite a lovely story about a young girl and how she interacts with her father after her mother's death when she was 4 yrs old. Set in the early stages of the civil rights movements she learns that love conquers all colors. A wonderful read
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Wonderful book - this was a fast read that had very interesting and lovable characters. Definately a must-read.
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I throughly enjoyed this book. I was drawn into the story, and into the character's lives, their struggles, their feelings, their hearts. I would recommend it to anyone wanting a lighthearted tale, that will sweep you in.
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I am surprised how much I loved this - especially for a person who is so scared of bees! That and the fact that a few years ago, this book received a lot of hubbub... I tend to avoid these "pop" books. But I am glad that I did read this one. It reminded me a lot of the beginning parts of _Fried Green Tomatoes_ (the movie more so than the book). I thoroughly enjoyed this! What a pleasant surprise!
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the narrator was fantastic. loved her voice, it added so much to the story. tried reading this book and didn't like it but loved the AduioCD.
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Enjoyed the book, an in depth novel about women's lives, both relational and emotional. Liked the emphasis of sisterhood, regardless of race and support for everyone. Importance of family whether birth family or created by circumstance, relationships is emphasized throughout. Stayed with this book could'nt put it down.
Written in dialect only provided more charm in the telling.
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This is one of the best books I have ever read!
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I really enjoyed this book. I enjoy the way the characters grew throughout the book. I loved them all. I want to know more about them, but I guess that is what makes a great book.
I recommend this book +++++++
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Set in 1960's South Carolina this is a story about the true meaning of family, spirituality and love. Very well written!
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This is a exceptional book and a real page turner. I enjoyed it.
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I am so glad that I read this book before renting the movie. I liked both, but I learned so much more about bees from the book and the building of the characters was great. I do not know if I would have cast all the characters in the movie. I thought they were much older than the actors.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 32 more book reviews
Sweet book. Great stir of emotions.....You can not help thinking that you are right there!
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I loved this book. It's a great book-group read, because there's so much to talk about (religion, racial issues, male-female relations, growing up, etc). I recommend it!
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Well written book about one persons struggle with family and what a family is.
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Most enjoyable read with interesting characters and plenty of humor in an unusual situation.
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Loved it. I am primarily a fan of thrillers and mysteries and didn't expect to love this story.. but I did. Racial issues and poor parenting didn't dampen the spirit of the women united as bees in a hive. Looking forward to the October release of this story adapted for the screen with both Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Hudson taking the lead characters. I couldn't wait to crack this book open as I plowed through each chapter to cheer for the Queen Bee and her new family.
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Loved this book. Read it in two short sittings. Much better then the movie, although the movie was great too.
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South Carolina 1964, Teenaged white girl Lily finds herself and her older black housekeeper victims of the raciest south, and must escape to save themselves. They find more that safety when the settle in with a family of beekeepers.
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Excellent book...looking forward to reading the rest of her books..
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This is a sweet and interesting book! If you are a champion for empowering women, you'll love this book! I don't think I want to see the movie because it just may ruin the softness in me that the book left behind.
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This book is sooooo good. I really enjoyed it, it is a feel good book.
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an easy read.....a story of life and how you deal with and learn from what you are given.
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Beautiful story! I didn't want to put the book down. It was exciting to experience the relationship between Lily and Rosaleen as they set out on a journey to Tiburon to learn more about Lily's mom. During their journey they met three sisters (beekeepers) and were taken in by them. The story is about these women and their relationship with one another. It was heart-warming to me to see these people living in a "colorless" society during the 1960's. It brought back memories of how things were in the US before and during the Civil Rights Movement. A family does not have to be traditional...family is what you make of it and your relationship with others. I found this story to be filled with love, hope, and inspiration!
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What an amazing read!
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Aamazing. I'm man enough to admit I actually got teary-eyed at one
part. Absolutely stunning.
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This is one of my top ten favorite books! Well written, with lots of characters to make you laugh and cry. I buy this book for young people in my life.
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What an awesome book! Just as terrific movie! I love the main character Lilly, so heartfelt. Wonderful sorry about a teenager and her search for information about her mother. Set in the summer of 1964, Lilly shows how we can be loved regardless of race. Also interesting to learn about beekeeping. I would recommend this book to all.
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Too Cute. Such a sweet book, loved every page from beginning to the end.
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Great read with compelling characters...will read again!
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I thought this was a wonderful story. I couldn't put it down and finished it in a day. I'm so glad I finally got this out of my TBR pile!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
Loved this book. A book with a good beginning, middle and end! Leaves you wanting to know what happens next.
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Great story of family love and support with strong female characters and racial tolerance.
Very poetic.
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A wonderful book
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This is one of those books that stays with you after you're done reading it. It's a great book.
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Easy read, very interesting and sweet. The religious aspect in the book was different (part catholicism, part invented historical lore). Takes place in the South so I appreciated the notations about the heat & smells. Love the fact that honey was somewhat of a main character, made me want to study up on the health and benefits of the lovely goo. I would recommend this as beach reading for those interested.
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I really enjoyed the book. I wanted to read more. It is based in the 60's which appeals to me.
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What a wonderful story teller - and the social life of bees put up next to the main character... breathtaking imagery.
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Another good read from my book club. My take on it is that's it is about fate leading you from a place of complete unwelcome to exactly where you have always belonged and been loved.
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Great read..hard to put down...you can totally relate to the characters as they go thru each of lifes encounters!
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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 black "stand-in mother" Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina - a town that holds the secret to her mother's pastl. Taken in my an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.
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Wonderful book and storyline. (I see in the description that this book is for reading level 9-12, but this is book is a "grownup" book ... not in content and there's not anything "bad" in it, but it is an enjoyable read for all ages.)
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Ok read, but not really my cup of tea. I read it because a friend sent it to me and everyone I know loved it. Guess I'm not "everyone" :).
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I loved this book. Lily's reactions to her tough and somewhat sad life are uplifting and full of spirit. The setting in the south during the tumultuous early 1960's and the facts about bees are interesting and informative. This was a book that I just couldn't put down until I had finished it.
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I fell in love with this book, the characters are so fun and real. You learn that what you thought you really knew might not always be true and friends are always the best.
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I really enjoyed this book. Was a little hard to get into in the first chapters but stick with it cause it truely is a wonderful story.
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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 her fierce-hearted black "stand-in-mother" insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to the town that holds the secret to her mother's past.
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I bought this book for my niece and she gave it back to me to read and I loved it. I loved the characters and really got wrapped up in the story. I would recommend the book and will definitely return it to my niece.
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Loved this book. Can't wait to read her other book.
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I loved this book. It's probably one of my favorites.
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A wonderful descent into the Divine Feminine--more than just a plot and a bunch of characters...it will touch you. The adventures of Lily Owens--a young girl who escapes her abusive father to find love with a group of sisters.
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This is a good book. It's set in the early 60's against a backdrop of civil rights, and a young girl's search for information on a mother she barely knew. The characters are the best part of the book. I loved the "month sisters" May, June, and August.
The ending left me feeling a little gypped, but all in all it was a satisfying read.
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I have wanted to read this book for some time since there has been a lot of hype about it. I guess that is why I was a little disappointed. It is good - but not incredible like I expected. Read it as an interesting story - not a life changing book.
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Wonderful story, wonderful characters - a joy to read.
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this was a really engaging book. I could visualize it happening as I was reading and it kept my attention. Excellent !
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I really enjoyed this book. I wouldn't say that the scenario was entirely realistic, but it was beautifully written, a great coming of age story.
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A wonderful read & it's filled with colorful characters that you really get involved with. I recommend it.
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The story of Lily Owens whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's black "stank-in-mother" Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tibuon, South Carolina- a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to theri mesmerizing world of bees and honey and thier Black Madonna.
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Loved this book!!!
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Great story that will stay with you after you've passed the book on.
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This story is about a young girl in South Carolina in 1964. Her mother was killed and she is more or less raised by her black 'stand-in mother'. When the girl and her caretaker are forced to flee town they are taken in by a trio of black beekeeping sisters who reside in the town that holds the secret to her mother's past.
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Enjoyable.
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One of my favorites!
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I loved this book!

It was actually a book on the recommended summer reading list for my daughter a few years ago. She never read it, but I did. What a warm, wonderful coming of age story. Remembering this book always makes me smile!
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I loved this book, highly recommend it!
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This was a wonderful, heart-warming story.
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I didn't like it as much as the rest of the world seems to, but don't regret reading it.
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Beautiful "girlfriend" book about the relationship between a young girl looking for a mother, and the women who once helped raise her deceased mother. Also, fascinating look at the relationship between African-Americans and whites in the 60's.
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This has to be one of the very best books I've ever read! I was so sad to see it end! Watch for the movie in the near future - Alicia Keys is going to be in it!
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As good as its reputation. I became very involved with the characters and did not want the book to end. Highly recommended.
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Never saw the movie, but loved this book. Read it in about a day and a half.
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I'm still not sure what all the hype is about. I thought the book was good in demonstrating the maternal bond that can form between a child and other women not-related to that child but that love(s) the child just as much as a mother should. I enjoyed the emphasis that this bond can be fordged no matter the color of skin or economic background, but...I still found the book to be a little slow paced for my liking. I actually had to order it on audio CD because I knew I'd never take the time to finish reading it, it just wasn't motivating enough for me to say "Where'd I put my book down I think I'll read."
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Wow, I couldn't put this one down. Very thought provoking and symbolic. Definitely looks at women and their roles in life, in nature, and spirituality.
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You family is not necessarily blood related. Women have tremendous power when they allow themselves to shine.
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This is a PERFECT summer read! This novel reminded me of Morison's Beloved (subject matter/themes) and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (voice). This books speaks volumes on matters such as gender, religion, and race all in a very quick enjoyable novel. Would definitely recommend this book to women everywhere and would like to see this novel on library and school bookshelves for a long time to come.
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Motherless Lily flees her mysterious and unhappy home with Rosaleen the housekeeper. They find sanctuary, but it isn't what they expect.
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I enjoy the first person commentary of this book and living in the south and having visited the south as a teenager during the time this book is set, I could identify easily with the turmoil of this girl's life. It made me laugh and cry alternately on the same page. An enjoyable read!
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One of my very favorite books!
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a young girl's search for the truth about her mother leads her to three beekeeping sisters who take her into their mesmerizing world of bees and honey and of a mysterious Black Madonna. A novel about mothers and daughters and the women in our lives who become our true mothers. A story about the divine power of women and the transforming power of love...http://www.suemonkkidd.com/Books.aspx

Lily having to have to live with the memory of killing her own mother was tragic and her father making it worse on her by being abusive to Lily. Lily finds her way and comes out the better person in the end. Excellent story to read.
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follow one young girls journey to discover her mother and herself
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My whole family loved this book. You never know in life where you will find love.
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Amazing. I could not put this book down - and I cried through most of it. It draws you in to the characteers right away and is just a completely compelling story.
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This is a very good story, a little overly detailed for me.
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I loved this book. she sets the scene well and you feel Lily's pain and sorrow like you are living it.
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Really interesting story, I enjoyed it very much. The main character has quite a lot of spunk and goes through quite an emotional journey. Glad I read this one.
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This story was better than I expected. A very heartwarming story with unforgettable characters, hard to put down as I wondered what would happen next and how it would end. Hit the emotions in many places.
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Also Check under Sue Kidd for more books by this author
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Fantastic!
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Wonderful book.Discriptive as Southern writers can be.
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I love, love, LOVE this book! One of my favorites this year!!
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excellent story about facing life crises.
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You will savor this book.
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This is a great book about the strength of women. The main character is a young girl, Lily, who stands up for herself time and time again. I'm so glad I finally read this book!
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I liked this book but would not read it again.
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This is a good book about race relations, family relations and being powerful in your own life. It is set in South Carolina in 1964.
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I liked it.
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A great story about family (even if its a family you're not born into).
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I really enjoyed reading this book. I recommend to any female. I haven't seen the movies yet.
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this was a great book.....enjoyed the main charcter spunk .....loved the women she lived with...capture me into their world.....some sad parts...but the growth of all left me satisfied.
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I really enjoyed this novel. Not my usual genre, but well worth my time.
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GREAT book! I was engaged in the story the whole time. Interesting setting and characters
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It was a joy to read, how a person can come up with the dialogue that is in this book amazes me.
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Lovely heart warming must be read book
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Everyone should read this. I loved it and couldn't put it down. The author creates such a clear picture of the life this girl lived before and after leaving her abusive father, and the civil rights movement that it makes for really compelling reading. Can't wait to see the movie now...
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Good book
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A great, great book. I loved it and was sorry to get to the end. And I loved the movie too.
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The movie was wondeful and the book is just as wonderful if not better.
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Enjoyed this one!
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Great book, full of inspiration and transformation.
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This is a wonderful book that proves love can overcome differences.
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This book was amazing. A beautiful story that I couldn't put down. I read it twice, it was that good. Very well written.
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I loved this book, it was a really easy read. Everyone should read this book! One of my favorites!
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I read this book at my mother's request. I found it to be an enjoyable book...when motherless daughters figure out what makes a family.
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A good read
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This was a great story! It was very well-written.
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I truly enjoyed the journey of the Secret Life. I believe it to be Monk's best offering in the land of fiction. Well articulated and very interesting characters.
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Beautiful tale of mother figures found in the least likely places. Love abounds and gives hope and comfort where it is desperately needed.
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My favorite book... by far. Makes me want to keep bees and live in South Carolina and smell the Jasmine flowers like Lily did and hear the rain on the tin roof... the book is very different, with unique descriptions. I tried to read a book after this, and it didn't cut it. I am very picky with books, and this one was so entertaining and amusing and heartbreaking but at the same time not depressing. It was deep though, and filled with life lessons. LOVED it!
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I loved this book! Not sure if I want to see the movie now or not, but thoroughly recommend the book!
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Wonderful book. I loved it!!!
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I simply loved this book. It is a story that revolves around these extraordinary women and how each one is courageous, loving and warm. I would recommend this book to all who enjoy a heart-warming story.
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Interesting family. Interesting relationships. Loved the protaganist
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This was a required read for a literature course, however I really enjoyed the book far more than I could have imagined. Great themes, a really good read for teenage girls.
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I don't get all the "buzz" about this book. I found it slow moving and boring. To me, it played out like a made for TV Hallmark movie, which on a boring Sunday night I may find entertaining, but for hours worth of reading I was bored pretty much from beginning to end. The only reason I kept reading was because I heard it was such a good book, and I kept waiting for the good part. Every night I would be determined to finish the book and I'd get 20 pages in and fall asleep. I'm glad I finally got through it. I understand how there's the themes of mother/sister/womanhood, but I felt this book has been done before by other BETTER authors. I think it would make an interesting movie, but for such a hyped up book I was really disappointed.
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Sweet and poignant with wonderful atmosphere.
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One of my favorites! Movie was a great representation of the book (doesn't happen often!)
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This was a wonderful story! It brings the flavor of the time period to play along with a story of growing up.
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Secret Life of Bees was not only a great attention getter throughout with nice flow, but it beautifully created a setting and a story that touched my heart.
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AWESOME!!!!!! Couldn't put it down!
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Did not like this book at all.
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This book is poetic in it's storytelling. One of my all-time favorites!
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Touching book. Nothing extraordinary about it, but keeps you interested and turning pages.
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kind of slow at first, but then got interesting.
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Your basic terrific story with elegant, flowing prose.
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I truly enjoyed this book. I loved the way the writer told her tale.. and how the truth comes out at the end. Was sorry to see the story end, I could have read another 300 pages of the Characters life.
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This book was really good... beautifully drawn and unique characters...strongly narrative I good hear the deep souther lilt to their voices! I read it in two days really good book!
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Great book. Easy read.
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I enjoyed reading this book. It crystalizes the civil rights movement in this country.
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One of the best books that I've ever read!
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I liked this book so much that I ordered it on tape for me to keep.
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I really loved this book. It reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird plot-wise. It is a heart-warming coming-of-age story about understanding where we come from and the discrepancies between the way we remember things as a child and the way things really happen.
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The story really captured my emotions. It kept me wondering what was going to happen next. I enjoyed reading it and would read it a second time. It was fun to read about beekeeping in a novel. All the beekeeping I have read has been in "how to" books. It was a welcome change. I was intending to let my ten year old daughter read this book but quickly found because of the language used in some situations I couldn't do that. Maybe when she gets older.
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A great read from cover to cover. Wonder writing and creative storyline.
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Beautiful story, well written. This one sticks with you after the last page has been read!
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An amazing and heartwarming story about women that left me feeling as a newly empowered woman.
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Amazing book! More for the younger crowd though. I had to read it a few years ago when i was a sophomore in high school. I never would have read it if it hadn't been required. I would highly recommend it to anyone and the movie was very good too but read the book first!
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I've read this book a long time ago, but I still remember it fondly. I really enjoyed it! The author has a way of bringing you into the story.
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very good.
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Really good book
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Incredible book! So many life lessons, great quotes and truly wonderfully written.
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Great Story. A bit of a slow read.
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Well written, really enjoyed the characters. Good book.
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great story.
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Great story about a girl who has to run away to find herself.
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i really love this book. it makes you laugh and cry almost at the same time. i cant wait to see the movie.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
A wonderful book. I saw the movie, but it barely held a candle to the book!
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this was a very good read. enjoyed it very much.
foxygirl
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An outstanding read -- one of the best ever. This book is a keeper for me, one I will re-read. Entertaining, warm, inspiring and a testament to the power of female solidarity.
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I enjoyed this book. It's an uplifting story - would recommend this.
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Great read! I had wanted to read this for a while & finally got a copy & it was everything I had expected & more! I couldn't put it down once I got started. I related to the main character Lily immediately & anyone who grew up in the South in the 60s would recognize lots of details that will bring back memories. I liked it so much I want to read more by this author & also check out the movie!
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I thought this was an interesting novel that examined a mother/daughter relationship. However, I don't think it deserves all the hype.
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Great story!
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Love this book. great read. Wonderful story.
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I had read some of Sue Monk Kidd's other books and wasn't that impressed, but I definitely changed my mind about her after I read the Secret Life of Bees. It's a beautiful, heartwarming, and also sad story, but still a great one!
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I enjoyed this book a lot. The characters are well written and the story line flies. Nothing is short changed here and Kidd has created an amazing story. This type of book isn't my normal genre but I couldn't put it down once I opened its pages.
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Wow. Very deep book. I made sure all of my friends read it. We all loved it!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
One of the most interesting books I have ever read, and the messages stay with you for a long time. Not typical in any way, just so absolutely real, heart-wrenching and heartwarming.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
Wonderfully written! One of my favorite books.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 11 more book reviews
Lovely story. My daughter and I both enjoyed it very much.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
if you loved the Help, you'll enjoy this as well!
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Excellent novel! Couldn't put it down, read it in less than two days. Very well written, kept me in suspense.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 6 more book reviews
This is a very good book with the ability to lift your spirit.
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Really enjoyed this book! Highly recommend to any woman or girl in your life. Lightens your heart!
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Heartwarming, tender, and philosophical. A very enjoyable read.
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I loved this book.
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This is a well told slice of life story set in the 1960's that deals with the racial tensions of the time and warmly portrays some very eccentric characters. Fourteen year old Lily tragically lost her mother when she was just a toddler and that moment has haunted her throughout her young life. She has been raised by her mean to the core father and a black woman named Rosaleen whom her father plucked from the peach farm to become her stand in mother. Strong willed Rosaleen causes a stir when she attempts to register to vote and ends up getting herself thrown in jail. Lily, desperate to save her, concocts a plan to spring her from jail. They escape their town and end up in Tiburon where Lily believes the truth about her mother will be found because left among her mother's things was a picture of the Black Madonna with only "Tiburon" written on the backside. They are taken in by a kindly trio of quirky sisters who raise bees and whose logo happens to be the Black Madonna. There Lily finds a home, acceptance, forgiveness and love.
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A fantastic journey with a brave little girl who gets to start over in a very unique new home. A picture of America during a time of social turmoil, and a colorful story with magical adventures. You will care about all the characters you encounter along the way. Beautifully written, highly recommend.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 42 more book reviews
My wife said... "This is one of the best books I ever read!"
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I loved this book. It had a wonderful story to it. I had my mother-in-law read it too and she liked it very much. This is about a little girl looking for a safe place aways from an abusive father and looking for what happened to her mother. Along the way she takes a slave woman that her father owned with her to keep her out of danger as well. Wonderfully written!
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A poetic journey that left me inspired! WOW!
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could not get into this book gave up
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 3 more book reviews
Awesome read! Now made into a movie!
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Beautifully written; enjoyed it tremendously.
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I couldn't put it down, I want to read all Sue Monk Kidds books. I loved the way she went from a somber moment to a hilarious discription, such as the drive-thru viewing window of the funeral home. Great reading!
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I just completed this book in two days. The author paints a picture so clearly with her picturesque speech. I was transported back to the turmoil of the mid-60's civil rights conflict. It was painful to relive some of the horror that was during that time, however, I believe it necessary to recall the details and lament lest we forget. Laced throughout the painful, poingent reminder is a strong spiritual element that was comforting and encouraging. I highly recommend this book and am hoping my 15 year old will read it next. When she does I plan to see if the movie did it justice.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
Wonderfull, unique story. Intelligent reading.
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Wow! The power of woman. This is a very inspiring book. I think every young woman should read this.
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I loved this book, it brought me back in time and I felt as if I were there with Lilly and Rosaleen.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 8 more book reviews
I would recommend this book.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 17 more book reviews
Book was great. Su Monk Kidd has a knack for telling a story.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 38 more book reviews
good read
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 36 more book reviews
a sweet book about about a mothers love,and how it surpasses death..well written. historically correct .really loved this book.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 50 more book reviews
So good. One of those books that will stick with you for a long time after you've read it.
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Good read...a charming southern story that pulls at your heartstrings...Enjoy!!
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I enjoyed this book. I usually don't get very caught up in good reads, but this time I finished the story quickly. I tend to become disinterested in books because I find a good many of the predictable. With all of the different notions running through this book I didn't have time to guess what might happen, I was just along for the ride.
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Fast Read, great for a summer book list.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 2 more book reviews
Great book. Haven't seen the movie yet, but it's on my list of things to do.
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This book was good but predictable.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 56 more book reviews
Good story, but not worth all the hype!
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I read this with my high school English class, they enjoyed it.
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Really enjoyed.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 77 more book reviews
loved the story
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I enjoyed this, different for me to read but a real pleasure. An Oprah selection.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 8 more book reviews
Great book.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
I thought this book was pretty good, nothing spectacular, but it was worth reading.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 11 more book reviews
Love, love, love this book. Almost hate to trade it, but I've already read it twice. Short read, too. Great for a sunny summer day.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 5 more book reviews
A wonderful story o a girl trying to find herself and place in life. Beautiful!
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This is a beautiful yet sad book. The storyline is suspenseful and engaging.
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One of my favorite books of all time
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This was a fun, feel good book. A nice quick read.
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Great book
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I loved this book. I have read The Mermaid Chair as well,but I just didn't get into it.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 20 more book reviews
One of my very favorites, a sweet and beautiful tale of family and love. Super quick read, but one you might read again and again.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 376 more book reviews
Read it now.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 27 more book reviews
I thought the story was a unique one and I appreciated its value because of that.
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What a great story. I loved the historic backdrop of the 1960's South to this sweet coming of age story.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 5 more book reviews
Great book.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 6 more book reviews
Definitely the book was much better than the movie.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 11 more book reviews
Wonderful book about the human spirit and finding a mother's love where you least expect it. The writing is absolutely poetic.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 38 more book reviews
Loved this book.
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Memorable book - characters, story - all sweet. Enjoyable read.
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The suject matter (racism) is too heavy for me right now. There is a lot of cursing in the book.
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I liked this book. We read this in our book club and all enjoyed it.
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Great book - blending the lives of young and old, black and white, rich and poor.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 25 more book reviews
This is such a lovely and compelling book...I was captivated and transported
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 104 more book reviews
Wonderful story, full of laughs, she is a great story teller.
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Best book I have read in a long time!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 28 more book reviews
Wonderful, wonderful, different book -- heart warming, tragic, sad, funny, -- women taking care of women and understanding one another despite cultural differences.
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One of my favorites!
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I read this book in one day, what a touching, soulful story. I highly recommend it!
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I really enjoyed this book. It is a great read. I shared it with my mom, after. She had the same reaction.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 63 more book reviews
I just loved this book!
I have read reviews that felt the story was something meant to be shown on the Hallmark or Lifetime Channels, but so what?
Still was a very entertaining book.
Loved the characters.
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An easy-read with a good message for women
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 24 more book reviews
Loved this book
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 75 more book reviews
I loved this book and so do several of my friends and family of different ages and backgrounds. I highly recommend it.
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I disliked this book for various reasons. It was difficult to get beyond the use of gratuitous profanity and it added to this books non-relative literary value. While I love most depictions of this era I felt that the author was so influenced by making her characters likeable and influential that she missed the mark in developing their characters as a whole. I would not recommend this book to young readers even though it's main character is a 14 year old girl. The author's lame attempt at trying to make it a coming of age story was grossly done and most of those 'scenes' were awkward and out of place. I read it expecting something better to develop, but it never happened.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 15 more book reviews
This was a good read-It portrays "real life" & racism during the civil rights movement. It shows love,unity of the women..and the strength of a young white girl that turns to her nanny. The strength, warmth and love of the black nanny and family warms your heart. It tells it like it was in the south, the rascism and cruelty. and shows the nannys and other black womens strength and character. Good life lessons in this book.
I kept this to read again.
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I wasn't entralled by this book as some, but worth the read.
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Enjoyed the book, wonderful story
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 4 more book reviews
This is a great story. Family really is what you make it.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 12 more book reviews
Fast read and enjoyable! I wished the book was longer and more detailed!
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I wanted to like this book, but I didn't get the depth of it in reading it. For this book, the movie was better.
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loved this book
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 120 more book reviews
Can I give this book minus stars? If I could, I would! The characters are one-dimensional; you can see the ending coming a mile away; and the writing is cheesey. I nearly threw the book across the room when I got to the part where they are rubbing honey on the madonna statue as part of some ridiculously made-up religious ritual. Arrrggghhh! On the other hand, some HLBDS members just loved it, so who knows?!
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I loved this book I could not put it down.
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It took me a while to get into this one, but I kept going because I read it for a book group. In the end I was glad I had read it, not because I enjoyed it a lot but because it made me think.
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One of the absolute best books i have read in the past few years. Lily's life with a family of strong african-american women is compelling.
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Excellent book!
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I couldn't put it down!
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New York Times Bestseller
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Both my daughter and I really enjoyed this book.
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This is an amazing book about the wonder of female power when a young girl is taken in by three black beekeeping sisters. Mesmerizing.
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***** I absolutely loved this book. I'm ready to pass it on to another reader. Enjoy!
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Sue Monk Kidd has written an enchanting, almost magical novel with The Secret Life of Bees. Inspiring, with powerful archetypes for women. Not your ordinary "chick lit", this one has brains, soul & a dash of Southern mysticism.
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One of the best books I've ever read. I couldn't put it down.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 6 more book reviews
Surprisingly good. I really didn't know what to expect with this book and it was so interesting. I had a hard time putting it down. I am even now interested in reading The Mermaid Chair by the same author just because this book was so good.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 11 more book reviews
best book I had read in a long long time......
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but members of my book group thought some of the story line a little implausible.
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Chick-Lit book about beekeeping in the South. The title kind of gives it away.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 19 more book reviews
This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. Unlike many books that generate a "buzz" (no pun intended!), this one lived up to the promise. A feel-good book similiar in feeling to "Fried Green Tomatoes" (book) or "The Man in the Moon" (movie)
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A young girl's search for a mother and the strange place she finds the love she craves.
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Wonderful story, beautifully written.
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great!!!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 7 more book reviews
A great summer read, really liked this book.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 3 more book reviews
This is one of my favorite books I have read in a long time. It depicts how a young girl, who is loved by no one, runs away to find a best friend, a place to stay, and a home among people who were strangers. The book has a twist in that her life becomes a real adventure even though she does not leave the home she has found.
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Great book!!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 6 more book reviews
This was an outstanding read. I just devoured this book!
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Pretty good story. I liked her Swan House book better though. This was a sad story of prejudice and color issues and abuse as well. Kind of crazy in places but good story just the same. The bees made it interesting. Learning about them.
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This is one of the best books I have read in years
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Good book... I didn't really like Lily all that much though...
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 67 more book reviews
Excellent, well written book!
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I loved this book and read it in a day when I was sick in bed. I'm a native Californian who lived in the South for eight years, and I've long loved classic and modern Southern women writers. The interracial theme in this book was extradordinarily well-handled, and the characters as well as the interrelationships between them were lovely. Extremely well-written, thoughtful, heartwarming (but not icky sweet).
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Amazing read!!
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Lovely. She handles her characters with kid gloves---pun intended. Read it.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 54 more book reviews
Great book. A favorite book that I didn't want to put down.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 93 more book reviews
Interesting.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 131 more book reviews
This is a wonderful, warm book about a young girl searching for a mother. The writing is wonderful, you are THERE in the hot Carolina sun.
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Awesome book, well written, rich with texture and well worth reading.
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THE TALE OF ONE MOTHERLESS DAUGHTER'S DISCOVERY OF WHAT FAMILY REALLY MEANS - AND OF THE STRANGE AND WONDEROUS PLACES WE FIND LOVE.
SET IN S. CAROLINA IN 1964...
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Awesome book!
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I really enjoyed this book. Uplifting coming of age story of a young woman in the south. Gives you very good flavor of the times. A quick, enjoyable read.
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It is such a great book!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 80 more book reviews
A must read!!!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 33 more book reviews
What a great book on the power of love! I cried and laughed!
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This is an awesome book!
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I honestly don't know what all the fuss is about this book. I fell asleep most of the times that I tried to read it.
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An interesting and touching story on inter-racial relationships.
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Excellent Book. Great book for a book discussion group!
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A charming and easy read, full of southern flavor about a girl's search for family and a place to belong. I enjoyed this book thoroghly although the ending does tie up all the strings a little too neatly.
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Great story!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 23 more book reviews
Beautifully written, wonderful book!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 62 more book reviews
wonderful story. read it in 24 hours.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 21 more book reviews
A wonderful story that pulls you in from the first page. I couldn't put it down!
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Heartwarming, cute story. There are moments when my "suspension of belief" was strained, but the book is short enough that it was a huge problem. Well worth the time it took to read it.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 3 more book reviews
Nice story......hard to put down.
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I loved this book
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 496 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 10 more book reviews
I found this to be very good, surprising, and satisfying. Some of the imagery, like the black Madonna and the bee houses, will remain with me forever.
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A lovely, haunting book. This girl's story is both unique and universal at the same time. I couldn't put it down.
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I could not put this book down! What a wonderful story of finding a home full of love with a special place for a lonely young girl.
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Insightful story about a teenage girl looking for a mothers love and finding much more.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time! Its a must read!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 20 more book reviews
I loved this book. Had a hard time putting it down.
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This was a great book, easy read and insightful.
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"Bees" takes a beautiful look at the different forms of love, and the different forms of motherhood. The characters are full, and you really care for their stories.
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Worth every minute you put into reading it... Loved it!
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Loved this book and the South Carolina setting. A fun read, in which I learned about the glorious work of bees, amidst the backdrop of the South in 1964.
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A warm, wonderful story! Loved it from page 1 to the end!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 18 more book reviews
Wonderfully written and an engaging story.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 59 more book reviews
A very good book, extremely hard to put down.
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This is one of my all-time favorite books and I've read hundreds!
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Wonderful!
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Great book!! About a 14 year-old girl who deals with a tragic secret, and an abusive father. When she runs away from home, she finds more than what she was looking for in more ways than one.
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Enjoyed it very much. Good characters, easy to read, good storyline. Would read it again when I was out of new stuff.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 34 more book reviews
Utterly wonderful!
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A wonderful book of a girl growing up and finding the secrets of her mother's and her abusive past. Also it shows the great strength of women supporting each other.
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An amazing, sad, inspiring, heartfelt, astounding story. Read it straight through in one day, couldn't put it down.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 30 more book reviews
Loved this book! Made me laugh and made me cry! KIDD has a way with really bringing the characters to life!
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loved this book - a great read
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Best beach read ever!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 40 more book reviews
If the writing isn't enough to draw you into this Utopian world of the pink honey house - the characters will lure you there. This is absolutely one of my most favorite books ever. You will hate to say goodbye to the calendar sisters, Lily and Zach as you find your way to the final page. This is a "must-not-miss" read. Beware - you'll find yourself ordering multiple copies to pass on as gifts.
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A wonderful book, full of interesting characters. A different twist on the quest story.
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A moving book - I really wanted to know what was going to happen next. Will there be a sequel so we can find out what happens to Lily ....I hope so!
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Very good novel about a girl leaving home and finding a family to love her.
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This book is about a girl's search for a mother, and the people she meets along the way. She learns that families come in different sizes and colors, and don't have to be related by blood. It is heart warming.
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Interesting quick read of life in South Carolina in 1960s. Beautiful, charming coming of age story.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this story, very colorful and likeable characters
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For me this was a strange but interesting story. Set up in older times, when racism was still prominent in the south, a young girl sets off to seek her mother. Her mother has been dead for many years. Discover how the bees are her map to a home filled with love and many hurtful events.
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Set in the South, the story of a young woman's rearch for knowledge about her mother.
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This is a wonderful story - the characters are engaging, the story is thrilling and it has a very strong sense of time and place. I couldn't put it down!
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One of the best books I've read in a long time!
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Highly recommend!
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I loved this book because of the touching way it explores the idea of motherhood and how to repair the void that poor or absent mothering leaves. Kidd's probing of the issue is light as a feather and profound as a thunder clap.

Meanwhile, it's good, engrossing storytelling.
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Great read....
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 65 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this story - very well written.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 3 more book reviews
a very sweet story.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 20 more book reviews
This book is very boring and not at all attention getting.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 59 more book reviews
Good read. not my genre.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 11 more book reviews
My book club loved this one!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on
I have never written a review for any book that I have posted, but I had to for this one. It is absolutely one of my favorites - the universal theme of needing to be loved, in a totally engaging, humorous, heartfelt little novel.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 8 more book reviews
Wonderful, wonderful story--a great read!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 32 more book reviews
This is an amazing book!! I really enjoyed it and I hope others do too!!! Wonderfully written!!! Just wonderful!!!!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 142 more book reviews
EX library book...well worn.....a womens book to share will women...LOL
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I loved this book!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 22 more book reviews
A wonderful story set in the South during the 1960s.
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 65 more book reviews
oooo i really like this book
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 47 more book reviews
fantastic book about a young girl growing up in the South and the people who come to love her - great read
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 136 more book reviews
I thought this was a great book!
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 148 more book reviews
Good the first time, but forced to read over and over for High School and now am soooooo sick of it!
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The story of a girl whose mother was killed and her escape to Tiburon, South Carolina, which is part of her mother's past. The story is about her relationship with the three beekeeping women who take her in.
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Great book, very vivid descriptions
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I really liked this book it reminded me of Annie Proulx's The Shipping News with little snipits at the beginning of each chapter from other sources. But it also reminded me of Marilyn Robinson's Housekeeping.
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This was a wonderful story about family, coming of age and a teenager's search for truth about the mother she believes abandoned her. It is set in the South and is very descriptive. It was hard to put it down!
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A WONDERFUL BOOK BASED ON FAMILY AND THE MEANING OF FAMILY AND LOVE
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 384 more book reviews
i did not thinki would get into this book.the time and place settings made me a littel uncomfortable. Now i know that this is one of my favorite books i've ever read. the strong female charachters are amazing.the story ,is a little contrived but who cared by the end you just loved them all and did not want it to end.
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A wonderful book!
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A deep well of a book, lovely imagery and words laid down in such a way as to touch your heart and mind
reviewed The Secret Life of Bees on + 13 more book reviews
Great story about a young girl who is searching for who she is. Her sad past and rotten father make it hard for her to move beyond her birth and find her future.
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A chick flick waiting to happen, a la Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. My dream casting: Billy Bob Thornton as T. Ray, Queen Latifah as August, Oprah as Rosaleen, Brittany Murphy as Deborah. Read more (including discussion questions) at SueMonkKidd.com.

From Publishers Weekly
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, South Carolina. 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.
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I'm a librarian, so I have heard about this book over and over again, for years. Not only was it on the NY Times bestseller's list, but it seemed like every book club in the country read it at some point or another. Well, there's a reason for it: this book is fantastic! 14-year-old Lily Owens, and Rosaleen, her housekeeper (more like family member/best friend) run away from home, to escape their individual troubles - Rosaleen from jail, and Lily from her abusive father. They end-up staying with the "calendar sisters", three African-American women who keep honey for a living. These women give Lily the first loving home she has ever know, and teach her about strength, motherhood, forgiveness, and doing the right thing. The civil rights movement, and race relations, underline all the action, events, and relationships.

Before I read this, I read Kidd's The Mermaid Chair, and it's hard to even compare the two - this book blows it out of the water! The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I reserve 5 stars for books like "To Kill a Mockingbird" (which is very similar to this book) and other classics. A great read!
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Having lived in the South all my life, this book brought tears of joy and sadness but captured life in the mid to late 20th century.
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This is the story of young girl's journey toward healing, and of the intrinisc sacredness of living in the world...
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This is one of those books that I didn't want to put down. The characters are very well created and the plot is interesting.
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LOVED this book. If history books had been written like this I would have been a better student. Heatwarming yet at times bold and truthful. You won't want to put it down. How the bees come into play is "intriguing. A must read!
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I really enjoyed this book. This book was outside my realm of what I would normally read, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
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I enjoyed this very much, esp the building of the stone wall.
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A good book. Wonderful story
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Best book I've read in the last 12 months!!!
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A touching melodrama about a young girl, her hardships, and her coming of age. A young person out of her element....searching for the past....praying for a future. Story is entertaining and moves fast.
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Hard to describe....a "coming of age", civil rights era story. Enjoyable and causes one to engage in some introspection.
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I found this book to be a terrific, quick read. It was interesting in that I had never learned much about bees before, and the characters that were created were done so beautifully. Sue Kidd has a way with words that just enchant the reader and drag one right into the story, even if you don't want to be drug!

There is such a range of emotions from despair to grief to love to pride...i was laughing at times, crying t others. A very enjoyable read!
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A wonderful read!
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I actually listened to the audio of this book several YEARS ago-- I LOVED it so much that I automatically buy the paperback whenever I see it just to be able to share it with readers who haven't read it yet. =)
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Lily seems so real, with all the feelings of a young girl. I love her sense of right and wrong and how she takes action. A character you can really root for at last.
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One of the best books I've read this year.
Very sweet and loving within a story of adolescence, pain and loss, and searching. Uplifting and enjoyable.
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A favorite that everyone should take advantage of.
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Awesome book. I couldn't put it down.
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Excellent novel about mothers and daughters. Very moving
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I can see why this book is so requested. Sue Monk Kidd tells a vivid story of one girl's search for the truth about her mother and in doing so also finds herself.
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I enjoyed reading this book. I loved how the author made you feel like you were actually there. I learned a lot about queen bees too!!
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A perfect book to relax with
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A wonderful story of a relationship between a mother and daughter
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I really loved this book!Incredible storytelling!
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This is just as good as you've heard. Worth all of the hype!
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Loved it
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This was an excellent book for reasons I could not quite pin point. I had trouble putting it down. Sue Kidd needs to write more!
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A beautiful glimpse into the life of a young lady struggling with identity and belonging. A must read!
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A story I'll remember all my life about a young girl's desolation and the journey her heart knew would lead her to the place she belonged. Brilliant and beautiful.
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This is a wonderful read!
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I really enjoyed this book.
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A good story...still do not know what all the hype was about though.
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Good read!
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Very well written and entertaining story. Definately a favorite of mine.
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This is the best story! I enjoyed this book from beginning to end!
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A beautiful, lyrical tale of what makes up a family.
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Really good story with strong characters. I would recommend.