Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

When everyone is raving about a book, I usually put off reading it and then end up loving it when I finally do read it. That's what happened with this book. I actually listened to most of it on CD on the way to and from Tennessee and within the first 5 minutes I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued.

Lilly's mother died several years ago in a tragic accident and her father is a harsh, abusive man. Set in the tumultuous civil rights era, Lilly goes to town with her African American nanny and ends up in a disastrous situation that sets her off a quest to find more about her mother. She ends up at a bee farm with some of the most motherly figures she's ever had in her life.

This book was heartfelt and cleverly crafted with a lot of the charm of the south, but the unrest that fits the time period. (Be aware that some of the language in the novel would not be appropriate for school settings, although young adults would certainly enjoy this novel.) Although my husband said the narrator sounded like Dolly Parton and he wouldn't be able to stand it, I enjoyed the story so much, I had to stop myself from going out to buy the book when I already had it on CD. I picked up another Sue Monk Kidd book, but this one sounds like more of an adult story, with a woman a monk and a longing for love. We'll see if it can hold a candle to Lilly's story.

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