The Secret Life of Bees

by Sue Monk Kidd | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0747266832 Global Overview for this book
Registered by katie1980 of Basingstoke, Hampshire United Kingdom on 4/2/2005
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
15 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by katie1980 from Basingstoke, Hampshire United Kingdom on Saturday, April 02, 2005
"Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was just four years old. Now, at fourteen, she yearns for forgiveness and a mother's love. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh and unyielding father, she has only one friend, Rosaleen, a black servant.

When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily is compelled to act. Fugitives from justice, the pair follow a trail left by the woman who died ten 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."

(Free with "Woman and Home" magazine £2.95, bought April 2005)

Journal Entry 2 by katie1980 from Basingstoke, Hampshire United Kingdom on Friday, April 29, 2005
I really enjoyed this book :)
It's a deep tale of self-discovery as well as love and understanding. I think the correct phrase is 'poignant'. My favourite passage from the book has to be this one:
"Cressie crocheted four eight-legged octopuses out of various colors of yarn to sit on the bed. One octopus would have been enough for me, but it's the only handicraft Cressie knows how to do, so she just keeps doing it."
I'm not sure why, but this thought makes me both happy and a little sad at the same time. I guess it just means something to me right now, even if I don't fully understand what that is.

A book that I would definitely recommend, and will most likely be passing to another bookcrosser who has it on their wishlist.

Journal Entry 3 by katie1980 from Basingstoke, Hampshire United Kingdom on Thursday, May 05, 2005
This book is now going on a ray, starting with the members of BCUK :)

So far, the list is as follows:

Madalina (blaisezabini12 - in Romania!)
Helen (Nice-cup-of-tea - in Switzerland!)
Chris (UrbanSpaceman)
Hayley (sunflowergirl)
Sun-beetle (in Zurich, Swizerland) - I'm willing to pass this on if Hayley can't post interationally :)

Anyone else who wants to be involved should just send me a PM :)

Journal Entry 4 by katie1980 at Romania in Postal release, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, May 08, 2005

Released 13 yrs ago (5/7/2005 UTC) at Romania in Postal release, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases



Sent to Blaisezabini to start the ray off :)

Journal Entry 5 by blaisezabini12 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA on Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Thank you for this lovely book (I really like the cover & your letter was really nice) which I picked up today from the post office.
I am going to read it as soon as I finish The Flanders Panel (part of another ray:)) and after that I'll send it to Helen.

WARNING: my journal entry will probably contain SPOILERS!!!

18 may 05: started reading this book during a boring laboratory which I had today and until now I find it really good.
I like the fact that Lily remembers so accurately facts from when she was 4 years old - I also remember so many details from when I was 3-4 years old - but I can understand why adults (in this case, her father)don't seem to believe her.
I am also watching every week the TV series "American Dreams" and I like the fact that because it is set in the same period the historical background (e.g.: 1964, president Johnson) is also the same.

19 may 05(in the morning): another interesting part was when Lily understood that not only white people have prejudices towards black people, that it also works the other way around.
And the ideea of May's wall was amazing - it would be great to have something like this in every major city of the world, to offer people the opportunity of trying to get rid of their sadness...
still 19 may 05: I've come accross a quote which I think it's the best in the book (at least for the moment):
"Every human being on the face of the earth has a steel plate in his head, but if you lie down now and then and get still as you can, it will slide open like elevator doors, letting in all the secret thoughts that have been standing around so patiently, pushing the button for a ride to the top. The real troubles in life happen when those hidden doors stay closed for too long."

20 may 05: finished reading the book during a course today - all I want to add is that I liked the ending a lot:)

sent today to Helen. Enjoy:)

Journal Entry 6 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Friday, May 27, 2005
Just received this in the post today from Madalina - thanks!

Journal Entry 7 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Saturday, May 28, 2005
I loved this book - I thought it was beautifully written, full of compassion and love. It showed the strength of families (ie the 4 sisters, also Rosaleen and & Lily ) and the weaknesses of families (Lily and her father, and to a certain extent, Mother). I thought the theme of the "mother" love (for want of a better word) was imaginatively explored. The sense that a Mother's love is difficult and hard to understand and powerful. But also the theme of Mary, the ultimate Mother! The style and plot reminded me both of "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe", and also "To kill a Mockingbird."

The whole "women doing it for themselves" was empowering and uplifting. I thought the relationship between Lily and her dead Mother was also carefully handled. The book didn't take the easy route, and wasn't overly sentimental. But we came to understand the path that grief and anger takes, and that with love and support Lily comes to forgive herself and her Mother.

"With my mouth pressed against her dress, it seemed like I drew up my whole lifeload of pain and hurled it into her breast, heaved it with the force of my mouth, and she didn't flinch.

She was wet with my crying. Up around her collar the cotton of her dress was plastered to her skin. I could see her darkness shining through the wet places. She was like a sponge, absorbing what I couldn't hold anymore."

Journal Entry 8 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Saturday, May 28, 2005
Will post this to UrbanSpaceman on Monday 30th May

Journal Entry 9 by UrbanSpaceman from Kingston upon Thames, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, June 06, 2005
This arrived in the post from Helen today - no tea bag with this one, though! I've had two other ring books today (that will teach me to go away), so this is number three on the list. I'm off travelling again in two days, however, so I'll take this with me to read while in transit and (I hope) have it doen to post on when I get back.

Journal Entry 10 by UrbanSpaceman from Kingston upon Thames, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, June 13, 2005
I thought that this was an excellent book - warm, touching and, at times, poignant heart- wrenching. Thanks to katie for ringing this. I would have never read it if she hadn't.

Will send on the sunflowegirl as soon as I get her address.

(PS - for the purposes of recording the book's travels, I should mention I read it while in Istanbul, so it's getting around!)

Journal Entry 11 by sunflowergirl from Carlisle, Cumbria United Kingdom on Monday, June 20, 2005
This book arrived a couple of days ago but I haven't had a chance to journal it until now.

I'm really looking forward to reading the book, I have two other book rings to read first though so I may be a little while getting through it.

Thanks for sharing.

Journal Entry 12 by sunflowergirl from Carlisle, Cumbria United Kingdom on Monday, July 11, 2005
I thought this was a lovely book, I enjoyed it from start to finish.

The part that touched me the most was on page 251 "People, in general, would rather die than forgive. It's that hard. If God said 'I'm giving you a choice, forgive or die,' a lot of people would go ahead and order their coffin." In my own life I am facing a difficult time, wondering whether I can allow someone back in my life who hurt me a great deal. This paragraph really struck a chord and gave me something to think about because it is just so true.

I find the racial tensions throughout the book shocking. It is hard for me to understand just how bad the situation was as, thankfully, in my lifetime all people of all colours have the right to enter the same cinema, swimming pool, dentist's surgery. It saddens me how much racism is still around though.

This was a story that will stay with me, and is probably one that I will seek out again in the future. It was, for the most part, a very soothing read.

Thank you for letting me be a part of this ring and giving me a chance to enjoy this book.


I PM'd Sun-Beetle yesterday and am waiting for their address.

22nd July 05

I posted the book to sun-beetle today via airmail so it should be there soon.

Journal Entry 13 by sun-beetle from Stäfa, Zürich Switzerland on Thursday, July 28, 2005
found in my mailbox, thanks for sending it on!

Journal Entry 14 by sun-beetle from Stäfa, Zürich Switzerland on Saturday, August 13, 2005
A wounderful book, written by a person who truly is a talented story teller. I was touched by the story, which tells so much about life, and the characters which I grew attached to. Reading this book felt so right, I wished it would not stop but go on like this even longer.

I'll see in the froum if anybody else would like to join this Ray. I absolutely recommend it!

Journal Entry 15 by sun-beetle from Stäfa, Zürich Switzerland on Sunday, August 14, 2005
and so the secret life of bees will continue it's journey as a bookray:

ink-heart (Germany)
realkiku (Germany)
Klute (Germany)
Qantaqa (Germany)
flying-bat (Switzerland)
aava (Finland)
conto (Portugal)
muzette (Canada)
morsecode (USA)
rern (USA)
namedujour (USA)
Brookett (USA)

--->please note that the shipping order might change, so the book is travelling within one country before heading for the next one...


Journal Entry 16 by ink-heart from Wolfenbüttel, Niedersachsen Germany on Friday, August 26, 2005
Thank you sun-beetle! The book arrived safely this morning and I am looking forward to reading it although I am afraid it will have to wait a while as I just started with "Der Schwarm". So it might be two or three weeks before I'm ready for this.

Journal Entry 17 by ink-heart from Wolfenbüttel, Niedersachsen Germany on Saturday, September 10, 2005
What a splendid book! I really loved reading it. The 14-year-old narrator is an entirely credible character and I admired the way Kidd let her develop such deep thoughts in a rather simple language. This attitude of fighting injustice but bearing with things you cannot change and enjoying what life has in store for you really appealed to me. Somehow I always had the feeling the story was in danger of getting sentimental, but it never really did. Actually it's a bit like the honey around which the main characters' lives centre: sweet, entirely natural, and comforting.

Thanks to Katie1980 and sun-beetle for providing this ray, and Happy Reading to all future readers!
The book is on its way to realkiku now. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 18 by wingrealkikuwing from Oldenburg, Niedersachsen Germany on Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Arrived today. Many thanks for sending!

Although too many bookrings arrived in the last weeks, this will be the next to be read.

Journal Entry 19 by wingrealkikuwing from Oldenburg, Niedersachsen Germany on Monday, September 26, 2005
I loved reading this book. It is one of these books that have a good story and besides provide some simple, but heart-touching truths, that you actually know but need to come upon now and then.

And it bore for me a very personal relation, because my mother died when I was three years old.
These lines touched me the most: "You have to find a mother inside yourself. We all do. Even if we already have a mother, we still have to find this part of ourselves inside." I have to think it over.
(I hesitated to write such personal things down here where technically the whole world can read it, but I wanted to share this with you).

The book will start its journey to Klute tomorrow, but perhaps I will buy a copy of my own.

Journal Entry 20 by Klute from Berlin (irgendwo/somewhere), Berlin Germany on Friday, September 30, 2005
Arrived today, thanks! Still have two more Rings to read before, but I´ll hurry!!!

Journal Entry 21 by Klute from Berlin (irgendwo/somewhere), Berlin Germany on Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Unfortunately I didn´t really like this one, I find the writing inconsistant (the narrator seems a little too saracastic for a little girl) and the characters somewhat clichéd (the father is almost as evil as a supervillian out of a comic book).

Thanks for letting me take part in the ring anyway, at least this way I got to try it out!

I´ll be sending it on shortly.

Journal Entry 22 by Qantaqa from Dachau, Bayern Germany on Monday, November 14, 2005
Thanks, everyone! I'm looking forward to reading this book - but it'll have to wait a little while because I've got 5 other bookrings here at the moment...

Journal Entry 23 by Qantaqa from Dachau, Bayern Germany on Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I finished the book yesterday and I so enjoyed it! The only thing I didn't particularly like was the ending, but then, it does fit to the rest of the story. I can't really say why I didn't like it...
Apart from that, I'm afraid I don't have a lot to add to the other reviews here :o)

Thanks for sharing this wonderful book!

Journal Entry 24 by Qantaqa at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Released 13 yrs ago (11/23/2005 UTC) at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



On its way to flying-bat.

Journal Entry 25 by flying-bat from Baden, Aargau Switzerland on Saturday, November 26, 2005
I had it in the mail yesterday! Thanks Qantaqa and all the others! :-) As I just finished reading "Narnia - the Lion, the witch and the wardrobe" tonight, I'm ready to read this one!

Journal Entry 26 by flying-bat from Baden, Aargau Switzerland on Friday, December 23, 2005
A very touching book. Very well written. I loved it!

I'm now making sure that it'll be on its way again soon!

Journal Entry 27 by aava from Jyväskylä, Keski-Suomi / Mellersta Finland Finland on Monday, January 16, 2006
The book arrived today, thank you flying-bat. Looks like this book is doing some serious travelling!

I´ll start reading it asap.

Journal Entry 28 by aava from Jyväskylä, Keski-Suomi / Mellersta Finland Finland on Friday, January 27, 2006
This was a really lovely book, it had warmth, wisdom and compassion.I felt for Lily and Rosaleen all the way through the book. Also it was warming me up when it was so cold here. I had tea (with honey of course) and this book and I could not have asked more for my weekend. Thanks for sharing this one sun-beetle!

The little book is now on its way to Portugal. Hope conto will enjoy it as much as I did.

Journal Entry 29 by wingcontowing from Lisboa (city), Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Monday, January 30, 2006
And the book arrived today!
Thanks a lot aava, for sending it as well as for the nice postcard!

I'm reading some other books now but all of them so heavy that I don't carry them around. This one I will (it'll keep me company on the way to and from work and on my lunch breaks) therefore I believe I won't take long reading it!

Journal Entry 30 by wingcontowing from Lisboa (city), Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Thursday, February 16, 2006
Took a little longer than I expected, because I had to start carrying around some stuff from work and couldn't keep on reading it at home before ending some others that were with me for a longer time than this one.

Anyway, it was a truly great read!
I liked it a lot and, as it's been said before, thought the May's wall idea pretty fabulous.
It's an easy enough book to read but a powerfull one at the same time.

Thanks a lot sun-beetle, for keeping it circulating among us, avid readers, and thanks a lot as well, katie1980, for registering it in the first place and starting that first bookray that made it come this way!

Meanwhile, Muzette asked to be skipped, as she's got it as a RABCK sometime ago, so it's following it's path towards morsecode sometime next week (haven't got the time to go to the post office tomorrow, sorry!).

Journal Entry 31 by morsecode from Woonsocket, Rhode Island USA on Saturday, February 25, 2006
This book arrived safe and sound in Buffalo, NY today.

Journal Entry 32 by morsecode from Woonsocket, Rhode Island USA on Sunday, February 26, 2006
What a lovely book!
Beautifully written and easy to read.
I loved the strong female characters in this book and the "dream world" Lily is able to make for herself with the "calendar sisters".

Thank you, sun-beetle and katie1980 for sharing this book with me.

I'm planning to get this book back on the road on Tuesday.

Journal Entry 33 by morsecode from Woonsocket, Rhode Island USA on Thursday, March 02, 2006
The next person on the list, rern, asked to be skipped. I have gotten namedujour's address and will get this book back on the road the next time I go to the post office, which probably won't be until Saturday.

Journal Entry 34 by namedujour from Tulsa, Oklahoma USA on Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Received a couple of days ago, and immediately began to read - became so engrossed I forgot to journal! It looks like this book is definitely a winner. More later.

Journal Entry 35 by namedujour from Tulsa, Oklahoma USA on Saturday, March 11, 2006
I never thought I'd ever read a book that reminded me of "To Kill a Mockingbird" but this one did. It wasn't because it to some degree involved civil rights issues, because I started seeing similarities before the story touched on them. It had something to do with the voice, and the cadence of Southern-isms, and the beautiful writing. Lily is years older than Scout, and the story takes place 30 years later, but they both have the same clear-eyed, unsentimental narration even when things could easily get sloppy.

At any rate, I can't give a book a higher compliment than to compare it to "To Kill a Mockingbird" because it's one of my top two or three lifetime favorites. Really beautiful book, on many levels.

I'll be contacting the next person on the list and shipping it off the next chance I get (it might be a few days).

Thanks for sharing this!

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