The Secret Life of Bees

by Sue Monk Kidd

Penguin Publishing Group | January 28, 2003 | Kobo Edition (eBook)

The Secret Life of Bees is rated 4.4444 out of 5 by 10.
The multimillion-copy–bestselling first novel by the author of The Invention of Wings, coming from Viking in January 2014

The Secret Life of Bees was a New York Times bestseller for more than two and a half years, a Good Morning America “Read This” Book Club pick and was made into an award-winning film starring Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keys. A coming of age tale set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees will appeal to fans of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help and Beth Hoffman’s Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and 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 town’s most vicious racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina—a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love—a story that women will continue to share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: January 28, 2003

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1101010967

ISBN - 13: 9781101010969

Found in: Fiction and Literature
I just loved The Secret Life of Bees. I was drawn into this book from the very first paragraph -- it's a story of sisterhood and the soul, written for those of us who prefer happy endings with a sense of realism. First-time novelist Sue Monk Kidd is going to be one to watch.

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really enjoyed this It is 1964 in South Carolina. When Lily was only 4 years old, her mother was killed and she thinks she did it by accident, but she doesn't remember the details. Now, she's 14 and has had to live with her abusive father since her mother died. When she and their housekeeper, Rosaleen, a black woman, get into trouble with the law, Lily manages to break Rosaleen out of jail and they run away and find a woman (August) and her sisters in another town to stay with, while they help with the housework and August's beekeeping. I really liked this, although the end was a little unrealistic, I thought. I really enjoyed some of the secondary characters. I'm actually finding I don't have a lot else to say about the book. Was really good, though.
Date published: 2012-08-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A ponderous preachy read John Ames believes he is at the end of his life and starts to write a letter/diary to his 7 year old son. His grandfather, a preacher, had moved from Maine to Kansas and joined up with the Union side during the Civil War. His father, also a preacher, on the other hand was a pacifist and became estranged from his father. The grandfather eventually died on his own in the Wilderness. I found this book to be disjointed and maybe that is the intention as this is a series of entries in a dairy. Also the book was extremely preachy and rambling. These might have been because the writings are of a preacher and an elderly one at that. However, it made for a ponderous read
Date published: 2011-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I Hate When This Happens ... Gilead is a series of letters written by Reverend John Ames, for his son. Ames, who is seventy-six years old, has learned he is dying of heart disease and knows that he does not have much longer to live. And yet, he feels there are some things he wants to impart to his seven-year-old son; lessons on life, so to speak. Now, you may think it odd that a seventy-six-year-old man has a seven-year-old son; however, when my Grampa was born in 1913, his father was seventy-two years old. Could you imagine having an infant in your care at the age of seventy-two? I can barely cart around an almost-four-year-old at the age of almost-fourty-one ... In the Bible, "Gilead" means hill of testimony or mound of witness, (Genesis 31:21), which describes the very essence of this book. It is a testimony of John Ames and his thoughts and his values. Gilead is also the name of the town in which Ames has resided his entire life and it is very much at the heart of the story. Although John Ames writes the papers as a way of communicating to his young son, he uses them as makeshift confessional for himself as well. He is able to express the loneliness he experienced after his first wife died ... to reveal, and therefore relieve himself of the anger he feels toward his father ... and to declare his love for his wife and young boy ... to explore his relationship with his namesake, John ("Jack") Ames Boughton, who is his best friend's wayward son. This is the 16th book I read in a challenge to read 100 books in one year ... and I'm blogging as I go. About lots of things ... Check out all my thoughts on Gilead ... http://takenoutofcontext-jill.blogspot.com/2010/03/i-hate-when-this-happens.html
Date published: 2010-03-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Endearing Tale This story takes place in the sixties and revolves around a 14 year girl, Lily who lost her mother at an early age. She has to endure growing up with a bitter abusive father whom she decides to runs away from after a racial event with her nanny-housekeeper. The tale takes her to a home of three beekeeping sisters where Lily's gains insight about her own life and the people around her. This is wonderful story about the times of the sixties and sisterhood. Truly enjoyed and one of my best reads for 2009. Would recommended to anyone who enjoys tales about how a person's experiencescan shape one's life.
Date published: 2009-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I read this after reading Home - fascinating to read a completely independent and completely related take on the same time, characters and facts. I'd recommend any reader read both.
Date published: 2009-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Secret LIfe of Bees by Sue Kidd (Book Review) The Secret Life of Bees by Annette Dunlea Set in the 1960’s US in a time of racial tensions Lily narrates her coming of age tale. Lily flees her abusive father and the police with her nanny Rosaleen to find more of her mother’s history. She goes to live with the three calendar sisters who have a profound influence on her life. August adopts her as a daughter and helps her to forgive herself and love others. It is a celebration of family and motherhood. Vivid description and enchanting characters record Lily’s journey to womanhood in a Kidd’s unique southern voice. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap
Date published: 2009-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great book This book is one of the greatest books I have ever read. The way it deals with political and social problems of the 60's and still tells an amazing story is incredible. You will fall in love with each of the characters one by one and at the end of the book you will want more of their lives. This book will become and remain a classic novel for a long time.
Date published: 2009-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!!! Ok so I hadnt heard of this book before I saw the ad for the movie and because books are usually better than the movie I decided I would read the book before I watched the movie. The book is amazing and I cant wait to see the movie. I would defidently recommend this book to anybody!
Date published: 2008-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The most beautiful book I've read in years This is the most beautifully written book I've read in years. Normally I devour books in one sitting, but this one I read in short spurts in order to saviour the beauty of the writing. Granted it is demanding reading, with a lot in the way of philosophical musings, but if you are hungry for beautiful language and for deep thoughts about life and meaning, this is definitely a book to read.
Date published: 2006-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from super sweet This was a great read. I fell in love with all the characters, even the bees!
Date published: 2006-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Wonderful set of characters I loved this book so much that when I finished, I turned back to the beginning and started reading it again. It is the first time I've ever read a book twice. I am a slow reader who savours each word and can honestly say, this book was as good the second time around. I would highly recommend it.
Date published: 2006-07-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Heartwarming and honest-- a GEM! This book was a heartwarming journey of the main character -- the rediscovery of her faith in human kindness and honesty. The author explores the character's relationship with herself through a series of challenging choices.....and developing friendships with strangers. The final settling is not predictable and remains true to the development of the main character. I thoroughly enjoyed each heart tugging, sad, silly part of this book.
Date published: 2006-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Words can't express... This book is by far the best book I have ever read. Perhaps it hit home with me because of a lack of a mother in my life, who knows. This book is about a girl who runs away with her black housekeeper to a town where she thinks her Mother may have been at one time or another. An amazing novel about sisterhood and find the "mother" within yourself and around you. A must read for all girls and women.
Date published: 2006-06-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Over rated I recommend "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" over this book anytime! The characters lack depth, and it can just pass for an entertaining easy summer read.
Date published: 2006-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Warm and Real I loved the experience of reading this book. Every good book leaves you with some kind of lingering feeling after you put it down ... this one made me feel as if I had slipped back into the uncertain feet of my own girlhood. No matter where you come from, or how you grew up, there's a sense of sisterhood that comes out of this book and touches every reader as though these women were part of our own lives. It's entertaining, yet familiar and comforting and inspiring.
Date published: 2006-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Amazing Novel I got this book as a birthday present from my step-mom and while at first I was a bit hesitant, as soon as I started it I was in love with it and could not put it down. I've read it and re-read it and every time it still pulls at my heartstrings. This beautful story about how Lily copes with guilt, anger, sorrow, racism, torture, love, friendship, and so much more, is a must read. Everyone clear out a slot on your bookshelf for "The Secret Life of Bees"
Date published: 2006-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my all-time favorites The characters are endearing, and real. The landscapes are wonderfully painted. The story is absorbing - in fact, I could hardly put it down. If you are interested in sisterhood, divinity and the meaning of life, I think you will enjoy this book. Buy it for yourself, your best friend, your mom and your sister.
Date published: 2006-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book! This book was a brilliantly poetic account of a young girl, Lily, who's tragic loss of her mother profoundly affected every aspect of her life. She endured emotional abuse from her father who was a bitter and selfish man, unable to show affection for his only child. Lily's African American nanny, Rosaleen was a blessing in disguise as the two embark on an adventure to escape the lives that they had known. They move on to a world where the epicenter was A Pink House filled with love, despair, sisterhood, bees, honey and acceptance. This book was an insprational journey that showed profound and unconditional love in the midst of sadness and heartbreak. A definite Must Read!
Date published: 2006-06-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Deeply moving... This book touches the heart in such a "real life" kind of way... it leaves you feeling that even when all seems hopeless, finding love and bringing your life back together again really is possible - even under the most unusual circumstances.
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Buzz-worthy I received this book as a Christmas gift, but because I was kept constantly occupied, I had delayed reading it for about six months. I finally picked up the book yesterday and finished it today. It was an excellent read: Kidd is able to make the cultural and geographical setting relevant to the plot of the novel, while entwining stories of exploration, regret, racism, eccentricity, faith, life priorities, the unique bond between women, and ultimately, love. 14-year-old Lily Owens' coming-of-age tale is definitely one that I highly recommend, because of the masterful manner in which Kidd is able to put so many important ideas into the story. What was most impressive of the novel was the way that the numerous themes were able to all be related to something so natural and simple as the relationship between bees. I would not hesitate to recommend Kidd's book to anyone, and as the book cover reads, it is definitely a tale that should be shared between women, especially mothers and daughters.
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was a book to read After reading all the great reviews this book received, I was very intrigued to read it. There are some books out there that you read and don't really have any sort of feelings towards them, this was one of those books for me. It filled my time....it was neither great nor was it bad.
Date published: 2006-02-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not bad I wanted to read this book because of the tens of recommendations I got for it. The book was ok. I could definitely see it being a movie; without a doubt. Plenty of racial tension and restrictions of freedom to stir up any producer/director in Hollywood. Lily was a good character. Sometimes I found her to be superficial and not genuine. What drew me was August Boatwright....She is what brought me to the end of the book. I highly recommend reading the Mermaid Chair by the same author. She really outdid herself.....Kidd has definite potential.
Date published: 2005-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A book with many levels. This book can simply be read as a beautiful story, as told by a young woman. On this level, the book has deep, caring characters that will instantly capture you. I think anyone, with any background, can relate with these characters and love this book. However, I think it is also important to remember where the story is set. The book describes South Carolina in 1964, just four years before Martin Luther King Jr. was assasinated. It describes a time where, in fact, violence against black and white civil rights activists was commonplace. For instance, civil rights workers were brutally murdered in Philadelphia in 1964 and dozens of black churches throughout the South were burned or bombed around 1963. This book does not dwell on the racial tension in the south at the time the novel is set, but I think any reader having this knowledge will find that the characters feel more vivid, because of the danger they face, and that the story is somehow more touching. This is one of the few books that I would recommend to anyone.
Date published: 2005-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book ever! I strongly advise anyone that hasn't yet read this book, to read it!! It was so amazing that when I finished reading it, I felt sad, because I missed being with all the characters! I got to know them all so well, and I felt like I was a part of their family. This is by far, the best book I have ever read. I really want Sue to write a sequel! So if you're unsure of what book to read, this is definetly a MUST READ!!!!
Date published: 2005-10-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Secret Life of Bees I found this book to be an incredibly fast and easy read. It is very well written with strong characters. I could easily picture it as a movie. The book makes you think about how the world used to be not all that long ago. It's amazing how much things have changed. Read this story, you'll be glad you did!
Date published: 2005-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderous! This is a wonderful story with characters that are easy to relate to. Not only does is demonstrate power of heart but also the greatness in life's little pleasures.
Date published: 2005-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Sometimes you pick up a book that you are truely ment to read. This was that book for me. This book reminds us that we may not have the family we wanted, but you can find the family you need. I couldn't put this book down.Every page was better and better. I can't wait to read her next book.
Date published: 2005-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Restored My Love Of Reading This book is beautifully written, I felt as if I were living it rather than just hearing about it...it's a rare talent for an author to be able to do that, to pull you in and make you feel like a silent character in the story. This book made me remember why I love reading, it's the first truly great book I've read after a long string of duds!!
Date published: 2005-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Great book, couldn't put it down. I would definately recommend!
Date published: 2005-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Almost The Secret Life of Bees was a touching book. One that should be read by everyone. Lily is an unusual, and genuine character with many different emotions. All the characters in the book each play a different role in her life, something that i found to be wonderful The plot is unique, it has never been done before. Kidd's style of writing reminds me of many different authors and books such as Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (If you think about, it is very similar.) Parts of the book are poorly written, but other parts are done beautifully. This book will be remembered as one that should be read, but has some rough spots. Kidd has the potential to become an excellent writer in the future.
Date published: 2005-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Book!!! The Secret Life of Bees is one of the best books I have ever read. This story is about Lily, a fourteen year old girl, who is searching to find the truth about her dead mother. When she meets August Boatwright, Lily discovers that August loves her like she is her own daughter. Lily then realises the importance of love and acceptance of other people. This is a wonderful book and a must read!
Date published: 2005-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I just love it This is a book every woman should read and pass down to their daughters. So beautifully written.
Date published: 2005-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and Captivating Writing! The Secret Life of Bees is a beautifully written story about a young girl in search of her life's story. I especially loved the use of language, I found myself rereading sentences, marvelling in how beautifully they were scripted and executed. This is a story that I will treasure for a lifetime and pass on for generations to come!
Date published: 2004-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Moving, Memorable, Beautifully Written I will keep it, read it again and pass it on to the people in my life. The Secret Life of Bees is a wonderful story, beautifully written, with such moving characters. You'll fall in love with the main character, Lily Owens, and the women that become a part of her while she struggles through her pain. Through Lily's ordeal the readers will inevitably discover something about themselves, and learn important life lessons on what it means to be a human being. It's the kind of read that makes your train ride to work seem far too short. I couldn't put it down. Pick it up - you'll be glad you did.
Date published: 2004-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enthralling and Unique! This story was so original and fabulously written. I especially liked the different characters (my favourite was May). Being a teenager, it was hard to imagine what Lily was going through and how much courage she had. My mom read this book first, but after I read it, I know it is a great read for teens too! Thank you Sue for writing an entertaining and inspirational read!
Date published: 2004-04-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from pretty damn good i had to read this book for school and i was like ehhhh but when i started i couldnt put it down. some parts i found boring but overall it was very interesting and i enjoyed it very much!
Date published: 2003-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a book you need to read! What an enjoying read! The Secret Life of Bees is a fantastic lyrically-written book that you can't put down. The heroine comes to this family broken and indignant looking for traces of her mother. The path, led by a black virgin Mary, leads to an an unusual family full of hope, love, and understanding. The ending leaves the reader warm and hopeful.
Date published: 2003-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational book! This was a sweet, touching and inspirational book. A great read (especially for women).
Date published: 2003-10-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Queen bee - August Boatwright I enjoyed this novel as a fast easy read. I didn't feel terribly drawn to any of the characters, although I think we all wish we had someone in our lives with the wisdom and compassion of August Boatwright. Lily's self-pity grew somewhat tiresome, but the conclusion provided evidence of her emotional growth and left me smiling.
Date published: 2003-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read!! I just couldn't put it down!! Well written with believable characters. If you enjoy female relationships, and personal growth then this is the book for you! I look forward to her next book...
Date published: 2003-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Secret Life of Bees Captivating! This is a book that will be read and reread for years to come! Unbelievable for a first novel...I can't wait to see what comes next!
Date published: 2003-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hands Down The best book I have ever read.
Date published: 2003-05-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An excellent read! A great book! I totally loved it! A great book about a girl, Lily, who tries to find out more about her mother but finds herself. She finds comfort in the calender sister's home. Their relationships start to slowly bond together. A book that lets us look into the lives of those during the period of dr.martin luther king.
Date published: 2003-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from awesome It's about time I read a book where a young lady, Lily, gets what she asks for. Here, in this day of age, someone finally writes about the importance of family. I would read it again and again.
Date published: 2003-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fantastic I enjoyed this book a lot. When or where can you find a book that you don't want to finish because you don't want to say goodbye to the characters? It is a real good read.
Date published: 2002-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent book! This was an amazing book! I was drawn to it from the very first sentence. Sue Monk Kidd is an amazing author and this is a book that everyone should definitely read! The characters are very interesting and anyone who enjoys a great read will love this book!
Date published: 2002-06-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from This book should be avoided. When I began to read the Sue Kidd book, Secret Life Of Bees, I was looking forward to the kind of excellent creativity that the title and Indigo bookstore's staff praise promised. Unforturnately, this book proved to be a boorish, gentrified waste of time. I considered giving the book away, but was too ashamed to do so, since the book might reflect on me.
Date published: 2002-02-24

– More About This Product –

The Secret Life of Bees

by Sue Monk Kidd

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: January 28, 2003

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1101010967

ISBN - 13: 9781101010969

From the Publisher

The multimillion-copy–bestselling first novel by the author of The Invention of Wings, coming from Viking in January 2014

The Secret Life of Bees was a New York Times bestseller for more than two and a half years, a Good Morning America “Read This” Book Club pick and was made into an award-winning film starring Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keys. A coming of age tale set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees will appeal to fans of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help and Beth Hoffman’s Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and 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 town’s most vicious racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina—a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love—a story that women will continue to share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.