Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Published January 28th 2003 by Penguin Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
“Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the 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. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.” -Goodreads
To begin, thank you to one of my best friends, Maggie, for showing me this book.
Anyways time to sit back with some Coke and peanuts and write his review.
Now, I don’t like books like this. Historical fiction is not my friend. We will never really get along. I don’t like stuff that’s old because I get bored. But the book was my friends and it was only 336 pages so I decided fine, why not?
Well let me just tell you something. Those 336 pages were the longest 336 I have ever read. It took me, probably, about three months. Granted this was apart of my year long break I have been taking and it was a part of the whole me not really being into reading last year. On top of that you put the whole historical fiction into it and I was a snail reading it. But you know what? I finished it!
And it honestly wasn’t that bad. I had a good time reading it. It was well written and stuff. I didn’t particularly think it was the best book out there but I certainly would recommend it to certain (very few) people. Maybe my Grandma or my 30+ year old friends. It just isn’t a modern book and I am not sure many people my age would like it.
The book takes place in the 60’s during the height of the civil rights movement. The second main character, “Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother, Rosaleen gets caught up in some things and Lily and her decide to flee. Lily wants to learn more about her mother and her untimely death. The plot of the story is good but kind of basic. Like there isn’t much excitement and adventure. There is not too much racial things happening which I would believe would’ve be more prevalent in the book. But the story is focused more on Lily and her mother and the time she has at the bee farm.
It also is kind of heartbreaking and just has the reality of real life. It doesn’t sugar coat things. It doesn’t fantasize an experience. It doesn’t make something seem unreal. Lots of the events are unfair and cruel. Lily goes through heartbreak and so do the other characters. It shows real life and not fake, fruity bull-crap. I appreciate that in this story.
It was a good read. If you like these kinds of historical, non-adventurous stories you will love it. It was really well written. I know if you are a middle aged woman you might dig this because a lot of the people who have read/reviewed the book and say they love it are more women who are older and mothers. But no matter who you are it is still worth the read. You just might not be as other books.
I loved the characters. I think June, one of the calendar sisters, was my favorite. Second would be Rosaleen or August. They all are some pretty strong women roles. They make the story super appealing. I feel like if I dive into characters I will begin to spoil things and that just ain’t what we do here on this blog. So I will keep it short and simple. All the characters keep it real. The “mothers” of the story play their motherly role to Lily and Lily plays a good searching girl. Characters are well developed and well structured in the story.
One things I do have to say is the cliches are there. Abusive father, angst, coming of age bull, etc. But you guys know that is what I love. I want that stuff. I L-O-V-E it. Other people hate it and if you do, don’t worry the story isn’t riddled with the cliches. Just beware.
Anyways thank you so much for reading this. I hope your enjoyed this. If you want a good motherly book and female empowerment read set in the 60’s go check this out. It is a great read. I didn’t go head over heels for the book but it was still a good book; well written and good storyline. Go check it out!
Star Rating: 3