Sue Monk Kidd wrote The Secret Life of Bees in 2002. She received the Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Paperback in 2002 and the Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee in 2005.
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.
Ratings: Good Reads 5 out of 5, Amazon 4.3 out of 5, mine 5 stars.
First sentence – At night I would lie in bed and watch to show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.
Quotes from The Secret Life of Bees:
” Someone who thinks death is the scariest thing doesn’t know a thing about life.”
“It is the peculiar nature of the world to go on spinning no matter what sort of heartbreak is happening.”
“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”
“And when you get down to it, Lily, that’s the only purpose grand enough for a human life. Not just to love–but to persist in love.”
This book isn’t about abuse, death, coming of age, race relations, bees or even the Black Madonna Honey; it’s about mothers and families. Sue Monk Kidd writes with skill, humor and power.
The Secret Life of Bees was made into a movie in 2008. If you don’t read the book, at least watch the movie. My preference is to read the book and then see the movie.