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  • Headline Review
  • Headline Review

The Secret Life of Bees

Sue Monk Kidd

21 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Historical fiction

'Wonderfully written, powerful, poignant, and humorous... Do read it.' - Joanna Trollope.

Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four. She not only has her own memory of holding the gun, but her father's account of the event. Now fourteen, she yearns for her mother, and for forgiveness. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, she has only one friend: Rosaleen, a black servant whose sharp exterior hides a tender heart. South Carolina in the sixties is a place where segregation is still considered a cause worth fighting for. When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily is compelled to act.

Fugitives from justice and from Lily's harsh and unyielding father, they follow a trail left by the woman who died ten years before. Finding sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world, as about the mystery surrounding her mother.

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Praise for The Secret Life of Bees

  • Kidd's first novel is well placed, gentle and deeply moving. - The Times

  • A personal favourite, one of those infectiously written books you can't get out of your mind...a lovely tale. - Bookseller

  • A tale that's beautifully and movingly written. - Buzz

  • 'This is the story of a young girl's journey toward healing, and of finding, at its end, not only wholeness, but the intrinsic sacredness of living in the world. I think it is simply wonderful' Anne Rivers Siddons

  • 'A novel of love and almost unbelievable courage, the quest of one young girl in search of her mother and so much more. Sue Monk Kidd takes on huge things, and by writing about what is mysterious, even difficult, in life, illuminates what is beautiful. She proves that a family can be found where you leas

  • Sue Monk Kidd... Illuminates what is beautiful... THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES is a gift, filled with hope - Luanne Rice

  • With imagination as lush and colorful as the American South, a clutch of deliciously eccentric characters, and vivid prose, Sue Monk Kidd creates a rich, maternal haven in a harsh world - Christina Schwarz

  • This is a wonderful book, by turns funny, sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris. - Daily Telegraph

  • Eccentric, inventive, and ultimately forgiving... a truly original Southern voice - Anita Shreve

  • Sue Monk Kidd has written a wonderful novel about mothers and daughters and the transcendent power of love - Connie May Fowler

  • ,Charming, funny, moving and unmistakeably from the American South... a story that whips together heat, violence, eccentricity, madness and the Gothic' The Times - The Times

  • Simply wonderful - Anne Rivers Siddons

  • 'I am amazed that this moving, original, and accomplished book is a first novel. It is wonderfully written, powerful, poignant, and humorous, and takes a line which is - refreshingly - strongly female without being cliche-feminist. It is also deliciously eccentric, which lifts it out of the usual category of a rite-of-passage novel into the realms of real distinction. Do read it' Joanna Trollope

  • What a splendid novel! It's wonderfully thoughtful and sensitive and compulsively readable - Susan Isaacs

  • Kidd's first novel is well placed, gentle and deeply moving - The Times

  • Moving, original, and accomplished...Wonderfully written, powerful, poignant, and humorous... Do read it - Joanne Trollope

  • A wonderfully written debut novel - Kirkus Reviews

  • [A] fabulous coming-of-age debut novel - Northern Star, Australia

  • This is a wonderful book, by turns funny, sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris. - The Daily Telegraph

  • Monk Kidd has created a narrative as skilful and sweet as a honeycomb. Uplifting and warm-hearted, this is a moving novel and Lily is a fascinating, funny and clever narrator - Literary Review

  • A honey-sweet novel - Elle

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Sue Monk Kidd

Sue Monk Kidd is the author of three novels, all of which have been international bestsellers: The Secret Life Of Bees, The Mermaid Chair and The Invention Of Wings. The Secret Life Of Bees spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list, was long-listed for the Orange Prize, and was turned into an award-winning film. The Mermaid Chair and The Invention of Wings were both No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. Sue is also the author of several acclaimed non-fiction books including Travelling with Pomegranates, which she co-wrote with her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor.

Sue lives in Florida with her husband Sandy.
Twitter @suemonkkidd