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Penguin Books

The Secret Life of Bees

4.6
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£32.00
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£32.00
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£52.00
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Customer Reviews

This was an amazing bookI read a book recently about a white skinned black woman in the south and was blown away by what I learned from it. I grew up during the 60s turmoil and couldn't believe the evils of racism. It's no wonder there is so much hatred. Love is a necessity to happiness. Thank goodness this amazing black women knew how to love. West coast living was so different from the South. This is an amazing work even if it is fiction. It still is filled with a lot of truths.5Feminine strengthBees are just the motif, not what the story is about. This is a beautifully written coming-of-age story set in the American South in 1964, after President Johnson signed the Civil Right Act. So many other topics are dealt with, including abuse. Feminine strength is portrayed sometimes in lovely, other times inspiring, and even in humorous ways.5I loved this beautiful story with a fourteen year old heroine, a Black Madonna, and bees!I absolutely loved this beautiful story about a brave fourteen year old white teen who freed herself from an abusive father and her African American nanny from racist police in the civil rights torn south of 1964 to step into the magical world of the Black Madonna and beekeeping. When Lily ran away from home with her nanny, Rosaleen, she fled to a small southern South Carolina town, Tiburon, whose name was written on the back of a picture of a black madonna that she found among her deceased mother's belongings. She carried with her a deeply held guilt about believing that she killed her mother when she was four years old and her belief that she was an unlovable horrible person. In Tiburon, she discovered a bright pink house occupied by three sisters who begin to teach her about the values of a simple life and nurture and support her as she begins to heal the pain and hurt that bore into the deepest recesses of her being. The eldest sister, August, takes her under her wing and brings her into the realm of beekeeping. Lily learns to take care of the hives, collect the honey and put it into jars that are sent all over the country. She lives in the honey house and also discovers the secret past of her mother who also spent some time in this same tiny home. Lily blossoms within her 'found' family, the 'calendar' sisters, August, June, May and her nanny, Rosaleen, and the Daughters of Mary. She also falls in love with an assistant beekeeper, an African American teen, Zack. The novel is filled with unforgettable characters who will stay with you long after you turn the last page. I loved so many aspects of this novel, but one of my favorite parts was actually learning about beekeeping along with Lily. As I walked among the beehives under the pine trees and listened to August explain the process I was filled with wonder about the magic of the life of bees and could imagine how it assisted in transforming Lily's life into the secure, confident woman she became at the end of the novel. I will never look at a bee again without feeling the magic of their world and the lovely novel that introduced me to their wonder.5As beautiful as it can be sad.I purchased a Kindle edition of the book to read after hearing the title mentioned in passing by friends and am so glad I did. I have seldom read prose as poetic and tragically lovely as Kidd has penned in The Secret Life of Bees. I felt a sisterhood with Lily and my face reflected in her desperation for maternal love. I fell in love with the "Calendar" sisters, and wanted to spend a night in a honey house, even if all I did was sweat through my shirt. Mostly, I longed to be surrounded by strong, independent women such as Rosaleen and August. These characters will stay with me for the rest of my life.5Great read not to be missed!Got hooked from the very beginning and didn't want to put it down sob as I read it in one setting. A teenager, Lily, seemed to be trapped in a circumstance she cannot escape from. Blurred memories of tragedy concerning her mother whom she barely remembers, and having to deal with a father who is harsh and cruel. Her journey is an inspired one and truly unforgettable! Highly recommended.5One of My Best Reads this Year and I'm FussyLily Owens has spent fourteen years blaming herself for her mother's death. She's had to tolerate a cruel, abusive father and been raised by tobacco-spitting Rosaleen, her nearest hope to mother-love. It is 1964. The Civil Rights Act has just been signed and Rosaleen walks into small-town Sylva, Southern Carolina to register as a first-time voter.On the way she argues with the town's worst racist, spits on his boot and is jailed. Lily Owens decides this is the moment to jail-bust Rosaleen and run away from home. They land up as fugitives in Tumaron with three sisters who have a connection with Lily's mother. Lily starts her journey towards forgiving herself, her mother and experiencing growing up in a loving household.This book is memorable in several ways: Sue Monk Kidd's original, quirky, highly perceptive portrayal of life in the deep south; the serious issues of racism and religion are shown - not in the usual hackneyed way, but with an irreverence and humour that made me smile time and again. Picture a colourful group of eccentric sisters with a love for life, wearing flamboyant hats, gospel singing and dancing in a canga line; the story is poignant and the characters become complex, strong and wise. I enjoyed reading this story and once started had to see where it would lead.5WonderfulIt's no wonder that this book has garnered such a wealth of five star reviews. Beautifully told, and full of wonderful characters who will stay with you for a long time. I also learned a surprising amount about bees.We had something of a bee crisis in our garden while I was reading this. They were arriving at our bird bath in drones, and drinking copious amounts of water. I've never seen anything like it. I wondered if they'd been exposed to some chemicals, which was a real worry ... I placed pebbles around the edge of the water to help them - had a couple of drownings, but I rescued just as many. Because of the story, I knew not to give them honey water. Fortunately, they weren't interested in the sugar water that I placed nearby (which would have indicated hunger). Eventually their thirst tapered off after a few weeks, and the birds got a look in once again.Highly recommended book!5Well written and keeps your attentionI found this book to be a very well written, interesting piece. The author really keeps your interest in all the events taking place. The characters throughout the story draw you in to their lives to where you would be comfortable having them as your friend. I think I will read this one again to pick up on parts I may have dismissed the first time through. I don't normally reread a book, I think the last time I did was"The Scarlet Letter" many years ago. Just knowing how it ends usually makes the second time around a little more insightful.5She was stunned that she was capable of something like that and regarded herself as a horrible personThe Secret Life of Bees tells the story of a young Southern girl and her complicated past. Lilly lives on a peach farm in South Carolina during the 1960s with her abusive father, T Ray. She has held on to a blurred memory of her deceased mother, and she is desperate to make it clear. When Lilly s nanny Rosaleen is insulted by three racist men in their small town, they escape to Tiburon, South Carolina. This town holds the answer to Lilly s questions. They are taken in by three African American beekeeping sisters named August, May, and June. Lilly finds comfort in their way of life and their belief in the Black Madonna. She starts to find out about her mother s past and embraces a new lifestyle that teaches her about the world.One of the main messages of The Secret Life of Bees is that sometimes you must leave home to find home. Lilly knew that there was more to her mother s past than what she had been told, and a twist of fate helped her find the answers she needed. She found protection from her abusive father with three surrogate mothers. The Secret Life of Bees is also about learning from your mistakes and accepting your flaws. Lilly learned that she accidentally killed her mother when she tried to hand a gun to her for protection from T Ray. She was stunned that she was capable of something like that and regarded herself as a horrible person. It took her a long time to come to terms with her actions and love herself. Finally, the most prevalent theme in the book is the importance of having love and compassion in your life. In addition to finding a place where she felt like she belonged, she also found loving home. This is not something she had experienced before as her father was abusive. When she found August, May, and June, she felt comforted and appreciated. She realized that one of the things that any human needs to grow and flourish is a nurturing family.The Secret Life of Bees is a book that you will not want to put down. The story is intriguing because it captures the essence of what human beings desire to have- love, appreciation, and respect. The story is told from a young girl s point of view and describes her journey to uncover her mother s past. It is engaging because the reader does not understand all the details of her mother s past until the end of the book, so it leaves the reader with a desire to uncover the mystery. I truly enjoyed this book and was a little sad when it was done. I highly recommend this amazing novel to everyone!5Thought provokingI really did enjoy this book. It is a book you need to read with your heart wide open. The only reason I gave it a 4, instead of 5 stars,is that the ending felt incomplete. I want to know what happened 5 or 10 years down the road. I want to know how everything that happened in this story played into Lilys future. Considering that the author talks about how many people have asked for a sequel, I am thinking that I'm not the only one who feels that way.4
The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees

4.6
Error You can't add more than 500 quantity.
Regular price
£32.00
Sale price
£32.00
Regular price
£52.00
Sold out
Unit price
per 
Save 38% (£20.00)