One day I got a message from a friend, “Have you read The Secret Life of Bees?” When I answered in the negative, she replied, “Ok, I’m grabbing it for you.” Months later, I’ve finally read it, and I feel a little bit like I showed up late to a party.
The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd
Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, The Secret Life of Bees is about Lily Owen’s quest to save herself while finding the truth about her mom. Set in 1964 South Carolina, Lily and her stand-in mother, Rosaleen, make their way to a sisterhood of beekeepers in Tiburon, South Carolina where they learn not only how to keep bees, but the importance of motherly love and the truths about Lily’s mom.
“You know, some things don’t matter that much, Lily. Like the color of a house. How big is that in the overall scheme of life? But lifting a person’s heart–now, that matters.”
“If you need something from somebody, always give that person a way to hand it to you.”
“And when you get down to it, Lily, that’s the only purpose grand enough for human life. Not just to love–but to persist in love.”
“… every living creature on the earth is special. You want to be the one that puts an end to one of them?”– Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Awards (based upon my brief research):
Orange Prize Nominee for Fiction Longlist (2002)
Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Paperback (2004)
Lincoln Award Nominee (2005)
Missouri Gateway Readers Award Nominee (2005)
My Overall Rating:
4 – Think The Help meets Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, because that’s immediately where my mind went while reading this one. I can’t be certain how I managed to make it so far before even hearing of this book. For a book that shows the value of motherly love and the power of sisterhood (biological or not), I think this is a must read for women. While, personally, I enjoyed The Help more, this is one I will hold onto until my own daughter is old enough to appreciate the story.