The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

secret-life-of-beesSet in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around a 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 the Black Madonna.

About a week ago I saw a girl in my Spanish class reading Kidd’s novel. By page 64, I knew I had already read this book but could not for the life of me remember the ending and decided to plow on. I wish I hadn’t. By page 146, I was struggling to focus on the book and continue reading. Now I know why I couldn’t remember the ending.

“We can’t think of changing our skin,’ he said. ‘Change the world — that’s how we gotta think.” (pg. 216)

The book seemed to drag on forever and I could barely finish it. The best part of this book is the beginning but after that, it’s all downhill from there. In fact, most of my tagged quotes occurred at the beginning of the book. The book just didn’t float my boat.

Others’ Thoughts:

Book Mentioned:

  • Kidd, Sue Monk. The Secret Life of Bees. New York: Penguin, 2003. Originally published 2002. Print. 336 pgs. ISBN: 0142001740. Source: Library.
Book Cover © Penguin. Retrieved: March 15, 2008.


  1. Trish

    I did NOT understand what all the hype was with this book. I have one of her other books, but I haven’t read it yet. Glad I’m not the only one!!


  2. Shelby

    i thought it was a wonderful book. i read this book for my high school book report not knowing much about it… i may have really enjoyed it because i am still young. i dont know, it was moving and inspiring and had a deep meaning about what it is to be a young girl without a mother, i related to this book on a very deep level and i am so encouraged by Lily’s life.

    i would recommend this book to any young girl.


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