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The Secret Life of Bees (A Book Review)

This is my first Sue Monk Kidd book. I have encountered this book several times in the bookstore and in my online application (e-print-studio) but I always have that feeling that this could be read sometime (mental note: to be read when I have a really very long vacation).

But when I was browsing for a new book to read, I changed my mind and included it again in my To Read shelf. I did not regret it.

This coming of age story is more than just about the bees (you will be introduced to each chapter with quotes on bees, have the patience to read it as it will more or less give you a clue as to what would happen in the chapter). This is a journey of Lily Owens in her quest to find out the truth about the mother whom she really did not know. It is about uncovering the truth if her mother did leave her and if she did cause the accidental death of her mother.


Racism still exists. I imagined 1960s (although I am not quiet right about it). I am not a fan of racism stories but this one is so touching I could forget that the blacks were discriminated before. But, don’t get me wrong, this is not about racism. This is about the queen bee, a daughter who is seeking the truth, a mother who left her child, and a sisterhood so sweet you could imagine they are all dipped in honeycombs.

This is in South Carolina, United States of America.


Lily Owens is a 14 year-old with a horrible memory. Her last memory of her mother was that of her accidentally killing her mother. Such a childhood memory one could understand why she is still at the stage of her life where she is still seeking for answers of what really happened and why did it happened.

Rosaleen is for me a somewhat stupid nigger with her pride in her heart. I could not really understand why Rosaleen is so stubborn and ill-tempered.

August Boatwright and the rest of the Boatwright sisters lived in a pink house. August is the beekeeper who happened to be the nanny of Lily’s mother. It was at the same house when Lily’s mother decided to stay when she left her family.


Lily's last memory of her mother was a blur but she did remember that she accidentally pulled the trigger and killer her. But she was still very young at that time and things may not be what really happened. Feeling unloved by his father and in her anger, she helped Rosaleen (her black househelp) in escaping from the a possible death and together embarked on a journey towards a place they both have never been.

Guided by the photo of the mother virgin (owned by her mother) with the name of the place etched on the back of it, she went to find her self. The search ended on a pink house with a beekeeper named August who took them heartily despite her obvious lies.

As the story progresses, one would learn that the Boatwrights have their own stories as well. That bees are magical. That the Lady of Chains is being bathed in honey. That honey is a medicine for almost every malady.

Truly heartwarming, the Secret Life of Bees teaches us to accept the truth in our lives and embrace reality. Hail to all the mothers!To the best people in the world.

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LeaPea2417 wrote on August 12, 2014, 12:01 PM

Interesting sounding, I just may read it sometime.

paigea wrote on August 12, 2014, 2:25 PM

I saw this movie and had no idea it was a book. I am sure I'd enjoy it.

MegL wrote on August 12, 2014, 3:37 PM

Sounds interesting. This might be a book to put on my "to read" list.