Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd

The Secret Life of Bees
Title: The Secret Life of Bees
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Publication Date: November 2001
Pages: 336
How I Found It: I'm not sure, but it's been around for a while.
Date Completed: 3/6/17

Summary: Lily's mother died in a tragic accident when she was a child. Her father has never worked toward cultivating a loving home environment. When Lily reaches the end of her rope, she runs away with their black housekeeper, Rosaleen, hoping to find out more of her mother's history and start a fresh life.

What I Thought: This book, which came out in the early 2000s, has been popular since then. I remember when the film adaptation came out in 2008 (which I need to see now - what a cast!). Somehow, despite all of that, I knew absolutely nothing of the story line. Nothing. I went in completely blind.

As often happens when I do that, I felt so much more open and receptive to the journey. When I have no idea about the story or the characters at the start, I find myself much more attentive to the details shaping them. So, I found myself shocked in the first chapter as narrator Lily recounted her mother's horribly tragic death and the details of her life now. When she and Rosaleen hit the road, I hadn't the slightest idea where they would end up, which made the discovery of August, May, and June that much more delightful.

I see why this book is so popular. It's a really lovely story on many levels. I don't want to give much away, because I think anyone who, like me, has someone gotten to this point without knowing anything about the book should be able to read it the way I did. Discover it fresh and face the family tragedies, racism, and coming-of-age with no preconceived notions of how things should end. It's not the type of book I normally read. If I had known more about it, I don't think I would have read it. However, I'm glad I did. 

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Probably not

A Reduced Review: A really lovely story about which I knew nothing when I started; I think that made it even better. 

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