Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Book Review: The Secret Life of Bees by Susan Monk Kidd

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh, unyielding father, Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating, blurred memory - the afternoon her mother was killed, when Lily was four. Since then, her only real companion has been the fierce-hearted, and sometimes just fierce, black woman Rosaleen, who acts as her "stand-in mother."
When Rosaleen insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily knows it's time to spring them both free. They take off in the only direction Lily can think of, toward a town called Tiburon, South Carolina - a name she found on the back of a picture amid the few possessions left by her mother.
There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters named May, June, and August. Lily thinks of them as the calendar sisters and enters their mesmerizing secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women. Maternal loss and betrayal, guilt and forgiveness entwine in a story that leads Lily to the single thing her heart longs for most.

My Thoughts:  I have to admit that I watched the movie first.  I actually had no interest in reading the book until after I fell in love with the movie and I could only imagine how much better the book would be!  I was not disappointed at all. I love this book!

The characters were eccentric, loving and fun!  I loved August and was wishing she were a real person that could envelope me in the hugs she enveloped Lily in.  It was a heart-warming novel that I think every young girl should read.  It was easy to read and I never once found it moving slowly or found myself being bored at all! 

This book was written beautifully!  There were so many things written in the book that I would love to quote but I am writing this at my in-laws house and the book is at home.  The one quote that really stuck with me was when Lily said, "People would rather die than forgive". I don't know if that is the exact, word-for-word quote and I can't tell you what page it was on but it was such a strong quote for me as I am personally dealing with some forgiveness issues in my life and I sat there and thought how true that really was.  And then I thought how sad that was.  There were many other things Susan Monk Kidd wrote that I actually stopped to think about because they were so real and applied to real life all the time. 

All in all, I have to say that I absolutely fell in love with this coming-of-age book!  I would reccomend this book to anyone and everyone!


  1. thanks for the review.
    I have this on my TBR shelves.

    I prefer to read a book b4 the film as I want to imagine events in my mind before I see the Director's version of events. :)

    I do want to read A Room with A View after seeing the film many years ago.


  2. This is supposed to be an excellent book and is super high on my wishlist! Thanks for the review!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries