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The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees [Kindle Edition]

Sue Monk Kidd
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (369 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £5.99
Kindle Price: £4.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


"A moving first novel...Lily is an authentic and winning character and her story is compellingly told. The bees presage her journey toward self-acceptance, faith and freedom that is at the heart of this novel." --USA Today "Inspiring. Sue Monk Kidd is a direct literary descendant of Carson McCullers." --The Baltimore Sun "Fully imagined...the core of this story is Lily's search for a mother, and she finds one in a place she never expected." --The New York Times Book Review "This is the story of a young girl's journey toward healing, and of the intrinsic sacredness of living in the world. Simply wonderful." --Anne Rivers Siddons ""The stunning metaphors and realistic characters are so poignant they will bring tears to your eyes." --Library Journal "Kidd has written a triumphant coming-of-age novel that speaks to the universal need for love" --New Orleans Times-Picayune "The on the edges of 'Magical Realism, ' that blend of the fabulous and the ordinary that can invest a tale with a sense of wonderment, as is the case here." --Richmond Times-Dispatch "I am amazed that this moving, original, and accomplished book is a first novel. It is wonderfully written, powerful, poignant, and humorous, and deliciously eccentric. "Do" read it." --Joanna Trollope "A wonderful novel about mothers and daughters and the transcendent power of love." --Connie May Fowler "A truly original Southern voice." --Anita Shreve "It's as if Kidd loaded up a take-home plate with treats, and you said 'Oh, I couldn't, ' and then scarfed it down in the car on the way home." --Entertainment Weekly "The tale of one motherless daughter's discovery of what family really means--and of the strange and wondrous places we love." --The Washington Post inds herself moving past the safety of her own personal boundaries. In th

The Big Issue

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

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 898 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0747266832
  • Publisher: Review; Export ed edition (3 Feb 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004P8ITOM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (369 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,767 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't keep this a secret 31 Jan 2009
By b.lops
A truly charming book, wonderfully written, moving and heart-warming with a spiritual core. The main character is Lily, a motherless teenager who has been brought up by her bitter, angry father. Lily's journey to find something or someone to answer the questions and fill the gap that her mother's death has left within her takes her to a mesmerizing, soulful place in the American south. The year is 1964 and the civil rights act has just been signed which adds more tension to the story and provides an inspired backdrop to Lily's journey. The desciptions are beautiful, I could smell the honey, hear the bees and feel the heat. The characters are full and August Boatwright in particular is one I wish I knew in real life. Lily's thoughts and her anguish are written so well I was reading through tears. This is a moving story but not maudlin or depressing one, it is uplifting, full of heart and inspiration. Just a little footnote, if you enjoyed reading this I recommend you read A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly too.
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157 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you never read another book, read this one! 8 April 2003
By Janette
Forget the title - this is a heart-wrenching, beautiful book and I urge you to read it, whatever your usual reading matter. The narrator of this novel, Lily, grows up unloved and believing that she accidentally killed her mother at the age of four. She starts her story "the summer I turned fourteen", and Sue Monk Kidd perfectly captures the awkward restlessness of the teenager, longing for love, yearning to discover the truth and fearful of what will emerge. The casual references to racial attitudes in South Carolina in 1964 are shocking, and the unique beekeeping sisters she finishes up with stay with you and haunt you long after you finish the book. Poignant and humorous by turns, the tale brought tears to my eyes on several occasions, something which has never happened before in my wide reading history. An added bonus are the wonderful facts you will learn about bees... I really can't recommend this book strongly enough!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get the buzz!! 3 Jun 2004
Great writing, moving story, and deep relevance for all of us because of Monk Kidd's persuasive linking between identity and trauma, not just on a personal level, but on a broader societal level. Nothing new about this, of course, but The Secret Life of Bees succeeds because of its charm and intimacy. I have read another excellent book recently about a person whose life was shaped by the life and dead of his mother, and by the trauma that underpins his chosen life. Called IN THE GHOST COUNTRY by Peter Hillary and John Elder, the book has been described in overseas news reviews as ``deserving a much wider audience because of its searing psychological insights'' and ''a superb dialogue on human frailty.'' Check it out.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE POWER OF THE SISTERHOOD OF WOMEN... 5 July 2004
This New York Times best selling novel is a beautifully written, coming of age story, set in rural South Carolina in 1964 against the back drop of the civil rights movement. It is the touching story of a young white girl, fourteen year old Lily Owens, whose mother died in a tragic accident when Lily was about four. Lily lives with her father, a harsh man with whom no love is lost, on a peach farm outside Sylvan, South Carolina. Her mother's death stands between them.
Neglected by her father, Lily is brought up by Rosaleen, a big-hearted black woman, who loves Lily and whom Lily loves. Yet, hers is a lonely existence, compounded by her unquenched thirst for information about her mother, Deborah. All she has left of her mother are some cloudy memories and a box containing a few mementos, among them a picture of a Black Madonna, inscribed with the words, "Tiburon, S.C."
When Rosaleen goes into town to register to vote, she feels empowered by the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and has a run-in with the town's three biggest racists, resulting in Rosaleen being taken into custody. Lily arranges for her to break free. Together, they seek sanctuary in Tiburon, South Carolina, where Lily discovers the mystery of the Black Madonna. Taken in by a trio of middle-aged black women who are sisters, as well as beekeepers, Lily is introduced to the secret life of bees and begins to learn some important life lessons. She also learns something about her mother and finds love where she least expected.
This is simply a beautifully realized novel, written in a true Southern voice by a wonderful writer with a story to tell. It is little wonder that this compelling book has received so many accolades. It is a stunning fiction debut by the author.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving story 28 Jan 2005
By Monica
I have made it a point of reading inspirational books which can help me have a positive outlook to life. Though it reads like a non-fictional memoir, "The Secret Life of Bees" even though it is fictitious, has been tremendously helpful to me as an inspirational book. It is brilliantly written with amazing details and beautiful settings. It showed the unique creativity of the author. This hard to put down book, is sure to capture your heart with its imagery.

Sue Monk Kidd does a brilliant job of laying out a storyline that is not only believable, but is interesting as well. I could not put this book down. Lily Owens will capture your heart. Despite the abuse from the hands of her father T. Ray, she turned out to be a survivor. Sharing her destiny with the beekeeping sisters, and their Black Madonna honey, she finally attains some emotional security in her life. May, one of the sisters is someone who inspires. This is a novel for young adults and adults, because at 14, Lily fights with the hazy memory of her dead mother whom she misses and longs for in rural South Carolina of 1964, where racial violence is inescapable. She finds solace in her surrogate mother - the family's black servant, Rosaleen, who later becomes a victim of racial hatred. It moved on to the escape of Lily and Rosaleen, the search for the identity of Lily's mother's identity and the quest for a sense of belonging in her life This journey led Lily and Rosaleen into the lives of three strange but alluring beekeepers who set Lily who helped Lily to grow up and be at peace with her family and its history.

The story is told through Lily's eyes, mouth, mind and heart, and as such it is deep, hilarious and inspiring.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellently written...very enjoyable.
Published 2 days ago by SHEILA BROADBENT
5.0 out of 5 stars Tissues required
What a good read - have tissues ready
Published 2 days ago by READINGNANNY
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of those nice little books for reading before going to...
This is one of those nice little books for reading before going to sleep. A light story that carries you along, you care about the characters.
Published 3 days ago by monadelphus
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 6 days ago by xxx
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little book
Great little book. Reminded me of 'the colour purple,' and 'the help', so if you like that kind of thing you'll love this
Published 9 days ago by Sweedee
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not yet read
Published 11 days ago by Mrs. Jane S. Hill
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fairy tale
I enjoyed reading this book. It had a great feel-good factor and a dreamy, hot summer day, everything's gonna work out ok kind of atmosphere. As a fairy story it worked just fine. Read more
Published 11 days ago by KateRG31
1.0 out of 5 stars An Unconvincing Fairy Tale Written Childishly
I started to read this as a free intro from Amazon and discovered that my daughter in law had the paperback edition and so I finished the read on that. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Wesley
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book
Published 12 days ago by courtney farrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very pleased
Published 14 days ago by Mrs Virginia L Holly
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