Itís always a treat when you find a book that not only can you not put down story-wiseóbut youíre reading and re-reading its lush, prosaic passages for the sheer beauty of its expression. The Secret Life of Bees [Penguin Putnam] is one of those books. Set in South Carolina during the Civil Rights movement, TSLOB tells the story of Lily Owens, a white, neglected and abused teenage girl who finds a real home outside her race and society dictum with a group of eccentric, African-American, bee-keeping sisters.
Full of humor, heart, wisdom, homemade religion and a celebration of Motherhood, this is a wonderous first novel for author Sue Monk Kidd. The Secret Life of Bees touches the heart without sappy sentimentality, it educates, keeps the reader wondering till the end, and the characters live on and on in your head long after the pages are closed. Itís a tall order that can only be found in great contemporary literature, but The Secret Life of Bees fits the bill. In the spirit of To Kill A Mockingbird, this is a book for the ages.
[Now in paperback]