The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees

Paperback - 2003
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The multi-million bestselling novel about a young girl's journey towards healing and the transforming power of love, from the award-winning author of The Invention of Wings and the forthcoming novel The Book of Longings

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 sister, 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 that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2003, c2002.
ISBN: 9780142001745
Characteristics: xii, 302 pages ;,18 cm.


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mhplkeith Jun 29, 2018


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Jul 13, 2020

Secret Life of Bees
The novel Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is an amazing book. It is set in South Carolina 1964 and tells the story of Lilly Owens who is blamed for her mother’s death by her father. She runs away trying to find her mother’s past and meets amazing women who own a bee business. Lilly learns so much throughout her journey and becomes a better person. I really liked this book and would definitely recommend it to others.

Jun 04, 2020

This is a lovely book where the author uses bees a a metaphor for life itself. Lily lives with her father and Black housekeeper as her mother is dead - died in mysterious circumstances. It is a coming of age story set in the Civil Rights era of the sixties in the American South. Lily runs away from home and finds love with a family of black sisters. She learns that white people and colored people living together and getting along was not the aim rather everybody being colorless together was a better plan. A short sweet debut novel which will tug at your heart strings.

Dec 04, 2019

This book hit a home run with me! Engaging, funny, thought-provoking and young adult appropriate. Treat yourself to the audio book version!

May 24, 2019

Read the book instead of watching the movie.

TSCPL_Miranda Apr 29, 2019

A wonderful book club read, set in the south in the year 1964. Themes include coming of age, awakening to civil rights, healing relationships between women, gender roles, and suicide. MC Lily is an intelligent, lonely young woman with an oppressive, angry father. Her mother died when Lily was very young, and she struggles to reconcile her conflicting feelings about the woman and the loss throughout the book. Understandably, she's a bit self-centered at the start of the story, but through her relationships with a number of black women who rally to fill the role of mother and friend in her life, and a friendship/romance with a young black man, her preconceptions are challenged and her character really grows. I've read this book twice now to discuss with a group and loved it both times. A quick, immersive read.

Jul 14, 2018

Set in 1964, this is a coming-of-age story about loss and betrayal. Lily Owens is raised by a “stand-in-mother” after her mother is killed. It’s the story of divine female power in a racist town in the south.

Jan 09, 2018

I fell in love with this book. It's inspiring, beautifully written, and empowering- while keeping an intriguing but not overly complicated plot. It made me cry and laugh out loud. You know you've found a good book if it can make you both laugh and cry. ❤

Nov 21, 2017

A young girl who grew up in South Carolina in the early 1960s lives with her black nanny and a trio of beekeeping sisters (May, June, and August). Lily has a hard past, vaguely remembering her mother getting murdered, having an abusive father and growing up in an incredibly racist town. This book really mirrors the book 'To Kill A Mockingbird', the main characters Lily and Jean-Louise really resemble each other in terms of innocence.
- @Florence of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

The Secret Life of Bees is a great novel about learning what family really is all about. This book takes place in South Carolina in 1964. The main character is Lily. She is very brave and decides to run away from her abusive father to a nearby town with her coloured “Step In Mother” in hopes of learning more about what happened to her birth mother. The book also includes a interesting look into racism since it takes place back in 1964. The Secret Life of Bees became inspiring to me and was extremely interesting throughout. This book would be very good for a novel study or a class project for anyone that older than 10 years old. In conclusion, the Secret Life of Bees was a very good book and I truly suggest you to try it out. Rating 4.5/5.
@MapleLeaf1 of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Oct 23, 2017

What would you do if you could find out about your mother if she has been gone since you were a toddler? Would you try to find out or not?

Check out my review of "The Secret Life of Bees" on my blog at:

Jun 15, 2017


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Jan 09, 2018

lowen3 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Add Notices
Jan 09, 2018

Coarse Language: Just a little... no use of the "big one"

Jul 10, 2014

Violence: Fighting scene

Jul 10, 2014

Coarse Language: the N word that's about it.


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Apr 18, 2017

For fourteen year-old Lily Owens, living with her father T. Ray means selling peaches, and reminiscing of the tales of her long lost mother in her free time. When she finds a clue pointing to her mother's true past, her and housemaid Rosaleen adventure to Tuburon, South Carolina, and meet a group of beekeeping sisters who contain the secret to her mother's past.


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Oct 15, 2020

People who think dying is the worse thing don't know a thing about life.

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