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Description - The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

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 yeams 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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Book Details

ISBN: 9780747266839
ISBN-10: 0747266832
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 130mm x 26mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Headline Review
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Publish Date: 3-Mar-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

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Book Review: Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - Reviewed by (28 Dec 2011)

The Secret Life of Bees is the first novel by Sue Monk Kidd. Set in 1964, this is the story of Lily Melissa Owens, who lives on a peach farm in South Carolina. At four years of age, Lily accidentally killed her mother. Her father is a harsh and cruel man, and Lily craves her mother’s love. She does have the friendship of Rosaleen, a Negro servant, but when events put Rosaleen in jail and in danger of her life, Lily decides they need to escape. Lily follows the scant trail left by her mother and they end up living with the eccentric Boatwright sisters, farming honey and learning to understand the world and themselves. Filled with facts and anecdotes about bees and beekeeping, this heart-warming tale has tears and laughter and much wisdom. For me, it was reminiscent of novels by Alice Hoffman and Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple. The epigraphs about bees at the beginning of each chapter were a delightful touch.


Author Biography - Sue Monk Kidd

Sue Monk Kidd is the author of two widely acclaimed memoirs, THE DANCE OF THE DISSIDENT DAUGHTER and WHEN THE HEART WAITS. Her fiction has appeared in several literary journals. Her second novel, THE MERMAID CHAIR, is published by Review in March 2005. Sue Monk Kidd lives beside a salt marsh in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband.

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