the novel by Sue Monk Kidd


The secret life of bees is the first and best known novel written by an American writer Sue Monk Kidd in 2002. She was born on the 12th of August 1948 in Georgia. In 1970 she graduated from Texas Christian University in nursing.

Most common subjects in her books are Christianity and feminism. Her writing career started after she wrote an essay that was very successful and was published in two American general-interest family magazines. Three years after she published her first novel The secret life of bees she wrote her second one The Mermaid Chair. Her latest novel The Invention of Wings was number 1 best seller in New York in 2014.

The secret life of bees is set during the so called African – American Civil Rights Movements when black people fought for their rights.

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African-American Civil Rights Movement

Between the years 1954 and 1968 african – americans fought for their civil rights. Their goal was to end racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans, to be equal as white people and to bring together blacks and whites in a single American society. In 1963 happened a famous march known as March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It is also know for Martin Luther King's speech who was one of the leaders so called Big Six. Beside him in the Big Six were also Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, James Farmer and John Lewis. They had an intent of peaceful and respectful march.

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The story is about a white girl named Lily. At the young age of four she shot her mother by an accident. Her father T – Ray was a very bad and a violent man and he always told Lily that her mother left her and she didn't love her. Ever since Lily's mother death he forced Lily into hard working. Fortunately, they had a negro maid Rosaleen, who always took care of Lily and she loved her. T – Ray never talked to his daughter about her mother so she began to search about her mothers things. Once she found a mysterious picture of a black Virgin Mary. On Lily's 14th birthday Rosaleen took her into the town where they got into troubles because some racist old men were mocking and humiliating Rosaleen because she was a negro woman. They ended up at the police station, because Rosaleen was accused of disturbing the peace. T – Ray came to take Lily home, where he hit her. She decided to run away from home and rescue beaten Rosaleen from jail. They managed to escape and ran towards the woods where they hid. The next day they went to the grocery store where Lily found the same picture of black Virgin Mary as her mother had, on a jar of honey. It led her to (all black) Boatwright sisters – August, June and May, who were making honey. Lily and Rosaleen got to their house, where Lily made up a story about being an orphan and that they needed a temporary place to stay. August accepted them because she was very kind and was aware of all the racism and that no one else would help them. August knew that Lily was lying and that she was in some kind of a trouble, but she wanted to help her. Lily and Rosaleen were helping in the house and they got along with the sisters very well. There Lily met Zach, August godson and she fell in love with him. Once they went to town where Zach got arrested for nothing. When May found out about it she became very depressed and committed suicide. Later Lily found out the truth about her mother...

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  • LILY MELISSA OWENS: a 14 year old girl and the narrator of the story, very kind and humble

  • T – RAY OWENS: Lily's abusive father

  • ROSALEEN: the african – american maid that works for the Owens

  • AUGUST BOATWRIGHT: the oldest sister, very kind and generous, a beekeeper

  • JUNE BOATWRIGHT: the most beautiful and the most serious of the sisters

  • MAY BOATWRIGHT: she is extremely sensitive, because her twin sister died long time ago, at the end she committed suicide

  • ZACH: August's godson, he wants to become a lawyer

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By Sue Monk Kidd's novel was filmed a movie in 2008. The screenplay was written by Gina Prince Bythewood who is also the movie director. Lily Owens is played by Dakota Fanning, August by Queen Latifah, Rosaleen by Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and June by Alicia Keys. One of the producers was also famous actor Will Smith. The movie was filmed in Lumberton and Wathc in North Carolina and first played on the 17th October 2008.

The Secret Life of Bees Trailer


"Wonderfully written, poignant and humorous."

- Joanna Trollope

"Charming, funny, moving."

- The Times

"This is a wonderful book, by turns funny, sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris."

- Daily Telegraph

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1. A honeybee is the only insect that produces food that is eat by a human.

2. A bee has 3 simple eyes on top of the head and 2 eyes that are made up of thousands tiny lenses.

3. Honeybee's wings stroke about 200 beats per second.

4. A single bee produces only one twelfth of table spoon honey in her lifetime.

5. Bees work until they die.

6. Honeybees can recognise human faces.

7. Beekeepers wear white to keep the bees calm.

8. There are more than 20,000 species.

9. Albert Einstein once said that If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.

10. Bees are originally from Europe.


How It's Made Honey


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