The Secret Life of Bees

by Sue Monk Kidd | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by Scrawler on 1/7/2004
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
13 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Scrawler on Wednesday, January 07, 2004
"Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was just four years old. Now, at 14, she yearns for forgiveness and a mother's love. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, her only friend is Rosaleen, a black servant.
When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily is complelled to act. Fugitives from justice, the pair follow a trail left by the woman who died 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."

I actually found this book pretty disappointing. I'm eager to see what everyone else thinks though, before I spout out my criticisms. I know a lot of people read it and loved it, so maybe it's just me.

Here's the running order:
(please note I've added redhouse after Koalabare. I'm sorry to push everyone else down the list but they're both in the UK and hopefully they'll be able to pass the book on quickly)


I've added Morgail's list of members for her stalled Bees bookring. tantan, if you could just send the book straight on to twinmaker, that'd be great!

1. twinmaker (Australia)--int'l
2. q-cow (Philippines)--int'l Currently Reading
3. chirel (Finland)--Finland
4. Elina (Finland)--Europe (please note I've added Niksu to the list....)
5. Niksu (Finland)--int'l
6. lesezeichen (Germany)--int'l

back to me in Poland!

On its way to citrus in Vienna! Enjoy!

Journal Entry 2 by citrus on Monday, March 08, 2004
received it today, thanks again :)

couldn't put it down. a wonderful book...

going to koalabare now...

Journal Entry 3 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Received today from Citrus - thanks!

Journal Entry 4 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Thursday, March 25, 2004
I loved this. At first it reminded me of The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, as there are similarities in the setting of the American South and the young-girl-coming-of-age theme.

However, this was shorter (hooray for that!), funnier, lighter and for all that, much better.

Also very moving - I finished the book uplifted and feeling really positive about life, and not many books can do that to me! And I now know more about bees and honey, which can only be a good thing!

Excellent - thank you Scrawler for starting this off!

I'll post this to redhouse tommorow...

Journal Entry 5 by Koalabare at on Saturday, March 27, 2004
Released on Saturday, March 27, 2004 at The Post Office in fetcham, surrey, England United Kingdom.

Released to redhouse.

Journal Entry 6 by winglelliewing from Trimley St Mary, Suffolk United Kingdom on Monday, March 29, 2004
Received in the post this morning. Thanks koalabare.
I've just finished reading The Red Tent, so I'll begin this one today.

Journal Entry 7 by winglelliewing from Trimley St Mary, Suffolk United Kingdom on Saturday, April 03, 2004
I've just finished this and I absolutely loved it. It's the best book I've read so far this year. Thanks so much scrawler for setting this up.
On its way to bookmaniac70. 08/04/2004

Journal Entry 8 by bookmaniac70 from София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Thursday, April 15, 2004
Received yesterday.I don`t have pending bookrings right at the moment and hope to start it ASAP.I have read many good things about this novel and am glad it is in my hands now.Thanks for sending it my way!

Journal Entry 9 by bookmaniac70 from София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Started reading yesterday and so far I like it very much. I have passed the chapter when Rosaleen and Lily found the honeymaker and now I wonder when and how will Lily share her true story.There is a charm in this book.I shall post again after I read some more.

Journal Entry 10 by bookmaniac70 from София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Thursday, April 22, 2004
I read it yesterday night until 2 am- could not put it down until I finished.There are books which change something inside you and touch you deeply- this was one of those books.I loved the story- the plot was intriguing,there was suspence which kept me alert all the time but above all,I loved the spirit of it.I liked that the truth about Lily`s mother at the end turned to be more complex and not easy to swallow. August Boatwright says something like "The puzzle of a human heart is not an easy thing.Leave it be as it is!" (a free citation). Lily has to learn to love her mother in the way she really was.She has to fight her pride and her anger to come to peace with her past.She even manages to understand something about her father and how he felt about her and her mother.

I liked very much the place where the three sisters live.It is a place of harmony,love,and it has some magic in it.I understand why Lily kept so long her story in secret- she was afraid she would ruin the spell.

The Boatwright sisters are very original characters.Each of them has something peculiar about her: June with her suspiciousness and stubborness,May with her extra-sensitivity and August as the center of balance and the keeper of the home.

I cannot miss mentioning how much I was moved by the symbol of the Black Mary,especially by the scene of pouring and rubbing honey on the statue.I found it very wise and profound what sister August said about the statue: that in fact it was a simple wooden statue,falled from some ship.But as people looked at her as Virgin Mary,the spirit of Mary came on it and the statue became a real symbol.

I would speak even more about this book but am afraid to give out spoilers so I`m going to conclude my entry now,sending my thanks to Scrawler for making this wonderful novel available to us for reading.This was maybe the best book I have read so far this year.

Journal Entry 11 by bookmaniac70 from София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Tuesday, May 04, 2004
I mailed it to jarrett622 maybe a week or more but forgot to make an entry.

Journal Entry 12 by jarrett622 from Clayton, Georgia USA on Friday, May 07, 2004
It's here! It's here! Finally! :-D I've been wanting to read this for quite some time. It was at the PO this morning. Great timing as I just finished a book a few minutes ago and have already begun this one.

May 9. I finished the last few pages of this book last night. This one was hard to put down. All I can say about it is *wow*. And I'd really like her to pick the story back up some time in the future. On to brewster13 next! :-)

Journal Entry 13 by brewster13 from Calgary, Alberta Canada on Monday, May 17, 2004
Just received in the mail today - what a wonderful thing to arrive on a MONDAY! Makes Monday a whole lot better :-D Thanks jarrett622 - you've made my day.

I am just finishing my current book, and will get to this book in the next few days. I'm really looking forward to reading this - it's been on my wishlist for awhile.

Journal Entry 14 by brewster13 from Calgary, Alberta Canada on Thursday, May 20, 2004
I really enjoyed this story - it just kept on floating along, so easy to read, so easy to follow. I got completely lost in the lives of Lily, Rosaleen, August, and the bees. I don't think the story would've made it had it not been set during racially-tense times ... to me that was the only 'tension' built into the story. However, it was so nicely written that it still managed to keep my attention. And weaving the bees lives into it, reflecting their lives on our own, brought a unique perspective that I appreciated.

Overall it was a pretty typical story - young teen-age girl faces hardships and obstacles, and while overcoming them learns about herself, friendship and love (not to mention racial tension and law).

This book was nice to read. We had such nice weather the day I started - I sat out on the deck all afternoon and read. And watched a few bumblebees bumbling around our backyard while I was out there too. Life can be so funny sometimes :-D

Sending this off to tantan today. Enjoy!!

EDIT: Just saw that LeighBCD is now in the line-up after me, instead of tantan. I will request address and send once I receive. Good thing I took another look before taking off for the post-office :-)

Mailed (surface) to LeighBCD this afternoon.

Journal Entry 15 by LeighBCD on Saturday, June 19, 2004
I received this in this morning's post... thanks very much! I have just finished a book so begin this straightaway.

Journal Entry 16 by LeighBCD on Friday, July 09, 2004
This book was well written and amusing in places. It is one of those kinds of novels that every time I looked at it I thought "I cannot be bothered reading this" but then when I did pick it up, I enjoyed it. Why should that be? Anyway, I will send this on to the next member of the bookring as soon as I have their details. Thanks again Scrawler for a great bookray choice!

Journal Entry 17 by LeighBCD on Wednesday, September 01, 2004
with apologies for the longer stay with me than expected, this book is on its way today to the next member of the ray.

Released 15 yrs ago (9/1/2004 UTC) at -- Controlled Release in -- By post or by hand --, Greater London United Kingdom



Journal Entry 19 by tantan from Townsville, Queensland Australia on Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Received today thanks to LeighBCD. This is a few down on the TBR pile, but I'll get to it as soon as I can.

Journal Entry 20 by tantan from Townsville, Queensland Australia on Friday, October 01, 2004
I had no idea what to expect about this book, but I really, really enjoyed it. It held my attention all the way through. I've learnt so much about bees and honey-making (and I loved the little quotes about the life of bees at the start of each chapter. Lily's story really captured my heart. A great read. It will be off to twinmaker as soon as I have an address.

Journal Entry 21 by twinmaker from Winthrop, Western Australia Australia on Saturday, October 09, 2004
Rec'd today from tantan thanks! Looking forward to this one and thanks to scrawler for taking morgail's list on - I have only one in front of this and will then send to next on the list.
What a great book, I really enjoyed this. I think a lot of people could relate to Lily and her story. I have posted this on, thanks so much for sharing this with me.

Journal Entry 22 by q-cow on Monday, November 15, 2004
bookmaniac70's review makes me wanna read this book tonight. Will start it this week. Glad its here.

Journal Entry 23 by q-cow on Thursday, November 18, 2004
I finished the book. I read every chance i got. At school when the teacher's were lecturing, at breakfast, on the bus, before i went to bed. I just had to read it. I loved it. It has the right amount of everything to be a great book. sending to chirel.

Journal Entry 24 by chirel from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Thursday, February 10, 2005
I loved this book! A simple story, but beautifully written with lots of magic in it. There's so much wisdom in this book. And I loved to read about the bees :)

I'm sorry I've kept the book for such a long time even though I read it right after I got it. My excuse is that I gave birth to our lovely son :). Now that everything is not as new and confusing anymore I again have time for my BC obligations. Will be sending to Elina.

Journal Entry 25 by Elina from Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, January 13, 2006
It is found. :) I've been studying in Germany now since August 2005 and the book had been sent to my Finnish address. I was spending my Christmas holiday in Finland and got this book. Apparently it had been waiting for me in my Finnish apartment which is now temporarily empty. I had transfered all my post to my parents place but somehow this had gone to the empty apartment. I started to read it in the plane already and it seems really good. I'll try to read it asap and send it on to the next reader.

Journal Entry 26 by Elina from Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, January 23, 2006
I really liked this book and once I started it I just couldn't put it down. Thanks Scrawler for setting up this ring. Now after a long time it is time for this book to return back home.

edit. The book was mailed back to Scrawler on Jan 27th.

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