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The Secret Life of Bees

by Sue Monk Kidd

Relationship Stories

The Secret Life of Bees Synopsis

Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees 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 deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina - a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey. And there Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world as about the mystery surrounding her mother. 

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The Secret Life of Bees Press Reviews

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

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

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

Maybe it is true that there are no perfect books, but I closed this one believing that I had found perfection. The language is never anything short of crystalline and inspired. The plotting is subtle and careful and exquisitely executed...The characters are lovable and deep-hearted, fully dimensional, never pat. The story endures long after the book is slipped back onto the shelf - Book magazine

Superb - Woman & Home

A honey-sweet novel - Elle

A hive's worth of appealing female characters, an off-beat plot and a lovely style... Deeply satisfying - Publishers Weekly

A wonderful modern fairy tale...a touching story with a memorable cast of characters - The Big Issue

An incredibly original and imaginative book with great charm and atmosphere - Glasgow Evening Times

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

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

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

As original as its title and rivetingly so... It is one of the most inventive books I have read in a long time, and utterly compelling... This book demands to be read again and again, for it is not so much the solving of the mystery that is compulsive, but the gentle, sensitive, humorous and intensely colourful creation of a world far from our own - Oxford Times

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

A wonderfully written debut novel - Kirkus Reviews

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

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

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

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

Lily is a wonderfully petulant and self-absorbed adolescent, and Kidd deftly portrays her sense of injustice as it expands to accomodate broader social evils...August and her sisters, June and May, are no mere vehicles for Lily's salvation; they are individuals as fully imagined as the sweltering, kudzu-carpeted landscape that surrounds them - New York Times Book Review

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

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

The multi-million-copy bestselling novel about a young girl's journey towards healing and the transforming power of love, from the award-winning author of The Invention of Wings.

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Postscript

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780747266839
Publication date: 03/03/2003
Publisher: Headline Review an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780747266839
Publication date: 3rd March 2003
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Publisher: Headline Review an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 384 pages
Genres: Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Sue Monk Kidd

Sue Monk Kidd is the author of the highly acclaimed bestsellers The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair. The Secret Life of Bees was her first novel. Selling over 6 million copies, it has become a modern classic and has been adapted into a feature film starring Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Hudson.   Author photo © Roland Scarpa

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