The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees
by: Sue Monk Kidd

Challenges: TBR Challenge

Published: 2002

# of pages: 320

It's been a long time since I read this, but I'm going to go ahead and attempt to review it anyway. Overall I liked this book, but I was disappointed in the ending. I felt like Kidd tried to make it deeper than it really was. Also, there were parts of the book that I found plain weird, but it wasn't until the end that I thought it was unnecessary.

The story is about 14 year old Lily, who lives alone with her father after her mother's horrifying death. Her father hires a woman down the road, Rosaleen, to help out around the house and be a nanny for Lily. Rosaleen's dream is to have the right to vote, and when black people are given this right, she goes into town with Lily to register. Along the way she is cornered by a group of white men and is put in jail after she fights back. Thus begins Rosaleen and Lily's adventure as they follow a clue on the back of a picture of a black Madonna that is all Lily has left of her mother. Rosaleen and Lily meet 3 sisters who live in a big pink house and make honey to sell. As Lily lives there over a summer she learns more about her mother, the truth about her past, and the hard reality of racism.

Although it has its depressing moments, the book is overall uplifting and empowering. Like I said, I almost felt that too much of an effort was made at the end to give readers this emotion. I recommend this to adults who enjoy Southern literature or contemporary fiction.

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