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Book - The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

I checked this book out from my local library in early July, 2006 and once I started reading it, I had a hard time putting it down. It’s a different kind of book -- very Southern and very much set in a certain time period, the beginning of the Civil Rights movement in the deep South. I must say, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has a certain voice and spirit to it that really appealed to me. I didn’t want to put it down, and that’s the sign of a really good book for me.

Rather than try to write my own synopsis, here’s one I “borrowed” from Amazon.com - “14-year-old Lily Owen, neglected by her father and isolated on their 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 cir*****stances, 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.”

I rate this book 8 out of 10 stars, maybe a 9, as I really enjoyed it. I definitely recommend it, it's a great read. :)

Added: July 31st 2006
Reviewer: Stace
Score:
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Book - The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Posted by griffin on 2011-11-25 01:08:55
My Score:


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Book - The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Posted by griffin on 2011-11-25 01:08:41
My Score:


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Book - The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Posted by Gail on 2006-08-27 16:33:45
My Score:


Stacy already gave a review of this book but I decided to add my comments to it. It is certainly a southern book and a coming of age story set in the 1960's during a time of great racial unrest. I too enjoyed this story and found it to be very different than other books I have read; it's not a typical romance story. Not sure I believe that this could have actually happened in the South because of racial prejudices, of a young white girl running away and living with all black women but it's sort of a charming story and just a story so I guess you don't try to believe that it could have actually happened. I'm including (and will copy it below) a paragraph that I found interesting: "If the heat goes over 104 degrees in South Carolina, you have to go to bed. It's practically the law. Some people might see it as shiftless behavior, but really, when we're lying down from the heat, we're giving our minds time to browse around for new ideas, wondering at the true aim of life, and generally letting things pop into our heads that need to...............if you lie down now & then & get as still as you can, your mind will slide open like elevator doors, letting in all the secret thoughts that have been standing around so patiently, pushing the button for a ride to the top. The real troubles in life happen when those hidden doors stay closed for too long." Oh to be able to write so descriptively this way! I'm not sure why I was struck by that when I read it but I do think it's true sometimes; we are always busy and don't take the time to just do nothing or to just think and contemplate life. Or maybe the part about the HEAT struck me because it was like 104 degrees here when I read it! This was a different book but one that I highly enjoyed reading.



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