The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd
A QUEEN’S READING ROOM PICK 2023
‘I adored The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention Of Wings, which were both wise, charming and sensual’ SANTA MONTEFIORE
The Secret Life of Bees: The multi-million-copy 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.
Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four years old. Now, at fourteen, she yearns for forgiveness and a mother’s love. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh and unforgiving father, she has only one friend, Rosaleen, a black servant.
When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily chooses to flee with her. Fugitives from justice, the pair follow a trail left by the woman who died ten years before. Finding sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world as about the mystery surrounding her mother.
‘A wonderful book, by turns sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris’ Daily Telegraph
‘Charming, funny, moving’ The Times
‘Wonderfully written, powerful, poignant . . . read it’ Joanna Trollope
What readers are saying about The Secret Life of Bees:
‘One of the most poignant and heart tugging books I have ever read’
‘Emotional and heart-breaking, yet full of hope and love. I laughed and cried equally through the book. This wonderful book will stay with me for a long time to come’
‘One of the best books I’ve read in a while. Touching, well-written, beautiful, full of expression, insightful’
‘A beautifully written masterpiece. I loved the writing, the descriptions, the humour sprinkled through the story. There was sadness and love, hope and forgiveness. I highly recommend this book’
'A tale that's beautifully and movingly written' Buzz * Buzz * 'A personal favourite, one of those infectiously written books you can't get out of your mind...a lovely tale' Bookseller * Bookseller * 'Kidd's first novel is well placed, gentle and deeply moving' The Times * The Times * Maybe it is true that there are no perfect books, but I closed this one believing that I had found perfection. The language is never anything short of crystalline and inspired. The plotting is subtle and careful and exquisitely executed...The characters are lovable and deep-hearted, fully dimensional, never pat. The story endures long after the book is slipped back onto the shelf * Book magazine * Superb * Woman & Home * A honey-sweet novel * Elle * A hive's worth of appealing female characters, an off-beat plot and a lovely style... Deeply satisfying * Publishers Weekly * A wonderful modern fairy tale...a touching story with a memorable cast of characters * The Big Issue * An incredibly original and imaginative book with great charm and atmosphere * Glasgow Evening Times * What a splendid novel! It's wonderfully thoughtful and sensitive and compulsively readable * Susan Isaacs * Lily is a wonderfully petulant and self-absorbed adolescent, and Kidd deftly portrays her sense of injustice as it expands to accomodate broader social evils...August and her sisters, June and May, are no mere vehicles for Lily's salvation; they are individuals as fully imagined as the sweltering, kudzu-carpeted landscape that surrounds them * New York Times Book Review * Sue Monk Kidd has written a wonderful novel about mothers and daughters and the transcendent power of love * Connie May Fowler * As original as its title and rivetingly so... It is one of the most inventive books I have read in a long time, and utterly compelling... This book demands to be read again and again, for it is not so much the solving of the mystery that is compulsive, but the gentle, sensitive, humorous and intensely colourful creation of a world far from our own * Oxford Times * With imagination as lush and colorful as the American South, a clutch of deliciously eccentric characters, and vivid prose, Sue Monk Kidd creates a rich, maternal haven in a harsh world * Christina Schwarz * A wonderfully written debut novel * Kirkus Reviews * This is the story of a young girl's journey toward healing, and of finding, at its end, not only wholeness, but the intrinsic sacredness of living in the world. I think it is simply wonderful * Anne Rivers Siddons * Sue Monk Kidd... Illuminates what is beautiful... THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES is a gift, filled with hope * Luanne Rice * Monk Kidd has created a narrative as skilful and sweet as a honeycomb. Uplifting and warm-hearted, this is a moving novel and Lily is a fascinating, funny and clever narrator * Literary Review * Eccentric, inventive, and ultimately forgiving... a truly original Southern voice * Anita Shreve * This is a wonderful book, by turns funny, sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris. * The Daily Telegraph * Charming, funny, moving and unmistakeably from the American South... a story that whips together heat, violence, eccentricity, madness and the Gothic * The Times * Moving, original, and accomplished ... wonderfully written, powerful, poignant, and humorous, and takes a line which is - refreshingly - strongly female without being cliche-feminist. It is also deliciously eccentric, which lifts it out of the usual category of a rite-of-passage novel into the realms of real distinction. Do read it * Joanna Trollope *
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