The secret life of bees

My review on a book written by Sue Monk Kidd


I personally think the book was well written and it deserved the tittle of a best seller. It shows the cruel times 40 years ago, give or take, when the white people overruled the black. On one side we have the society that puts them down and on the other side we have Lily who treats them as equals, as they are and even finds herself building a new family with her nanny and friends. Of course it couldn’t go without a young love, which nowadays seems to be the plot of almost every story. What I liked was that the author didn’t focus on that but she focused on family love and on the right to equality between people. Trough out the whole movie there were a few parts that made me let out a few tears.

There is also a movie starring Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah that was made after the book and I must say it’s great. It’s produced great and the main actors are outstanding. I think Queen Latifah played her role of a powerful women who provides motherly love really well.


The story is happening it the 1970's in South Carolina. The main character Lily is a 14 year old white girl who lived on a peach farm with her abusive father. Lily didn't have a mother but she had a secret. She believed she shot and killed her mother when she was four. Lily also lived with a nanny named Rosaleen who cared for Lily, maybe even more than her father did.
One night Lily decides she is going to run away with her nanny and they fled the town. The next day, in a town near by Lily spots a jar of honey with the exact same picture of Mary that her mother left her along with a pair of gloves and her picture. Lily later visits the producers of this honey-The Boatright’s sisters. Lily and Rosaleen make up a story about just passing by and they don't tell the sisters about Lily's earlier life in a hope they'll let them stay in their house.

Now Lily was living with August and her sisters, May and June and she also met one of the sister’s boyfriend and friends and a young, charming boy Zach (who she developed a crush on) and Rosaleen, who were all dark. As the story was happening in the 1970's, racism was one of the main plots of this almost heartbreaking story.

As the days went by, Lily felt more and more like at home an she got along with the Boatright’s sisters, they loved her. August taught her how to work with bees and Max did her hair. She and Zach liked each other so one day they went to see a movie, which ended badly for Zach as he was dragged out of the cinema and beaten up. When May received the news it broke her because they were such good friends. She committed suicide.

Lily felt like everything bad that happened was her fault so she told August about her life and her mother, but August knew everything before Lily even told her. In fact August used to take care of Lily's mom when she was younger. All her life Lily lived in a lie. She was sure her mother left her and her dad because she never even wanted them, at least that's what her dad told her. The truth was, her mother stopped loving her husband and ran away (to August) and after a couple months she wanted to return to take Lily with her and away from her dad as the accident happened. Lily was sad, yet ecstatic to learn the truth.

After a couple weeks of living with August, Lily's dad finds her and wants to take her away but she refuses to go with him plus the sisters don’t let him. He leaves alone and his last words to Lily were he lied because her mother didn’t want him, just Lily.

about the author

Sue Monk Kidd was born in August 1948 and raised in a small town in Georgia, which had a big influence on her first novel The Secret Life Of Bees (2002). After graduating from Texas Christian University with a B.S. in nursing, she took a couple of writing courses and later on in her life she wrote many successful books and a best seller