Book Review: The Secret Life of Bees By Sue Monk Kidd

Another Bindu recommended book, another book, I might not have come across otherwise. Have I said before how much I’ve come to rely on you guys to recommend fantastic books? There was a time I would scour New York Times best best seller list and other such lists in search of books. No longer. These days, I don’t need to do any searching anymore. What I do have is an overflowing list of books to be read. Not that I am complaining.


Set in the 60s, when America was still coming to terms with the racial equation, new laws and ordinances had little meaning when it came to what went on in little towns.

Lily Owens, has just turned fourteen. She lives with an abusive father and memories of her long dead mother. Lily has grown up with demons of her own. She killed her mother, accidentaly and feels that she is unlovable, given the way her father treats her.

Circumstances force her to run away with Rosaleen, the woman who has been cleaning and cooking for them, and who also comes closest to a mother figure. Lily and Rosaleen land up at August W’s doors, led by a picture of a Black Virgin Mary that she found in her mother’s belongings. August has a flourishing honey business, and is a dedicated bee Keeper. As Lily lives and works with August, and learns all about the secret life of bees, she also learns a bit about life as well.

This was a book that I read without any expectation. It had been a while since I read Bindu’s review and did not know what to expect. It grabbed me, right from the start. There was a lot going on, Lily’s confusion, the racism that was so rampant in America of the 60s, August, and her sisters and their lives, but if there was a central thread to the book, it would be mothers. Be it Lily’s mother or her realization about the truth about mothers. It was a wonderful read. A book I will happily re-read. A comfortable book, even when it is addressing tough and rather uncomfortable issues. A book that actually makes you believe that some honey can indeed set the world right.

A book I would happily recommend.

About the Author

Sue Monk Kidd was raised in the small town of Sylvester, Georgia. She graduated from Texas Christian University in 1970 and later took creative writing courses at Emory University and Anderson College, as well as studying at Sewanee, Bread Loaf, and other writersโ€™ conferences. The Secret Life of Bees, her first book, was published by Viking in 2002, it became a genuine literary phenomenon, spending more than 2ยฝ years on the New York Times bestseller list. It has been translated into 36 languages and sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S. and 8 million copies worldwide.


17 thoughts on “Book Review: The Secret Life of Bees By Sue Monk Kidd

  1. More than one blogger has recommended this book to me, too. Looks like it’s time to pick this one up. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The book sounds dark, but interesting with just the right mix of goodness thrown in, to balance the darkness.


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