The Secret Life of Bees

By Sue Monk Kidd

Summary of the book

The story is happening in South Carolina in the twentieth century. The main character is Lily. Lily is a teenager who lives on a peach farm with her dad T-Ray and her helper Rosaleen. Her mother was killed by Lily when she was little. Her mother Deborah left her only one box and in that box there were things of her childhood and that she lived in a city of Tiburon. Because Lily hated her father she left him and went with Rosaleen in Tiburon because it was the only place to find out about her mother. She found the house where her mother had lived. In the house lived 3 black sisters called August, June and May. Lily lived there with the 3 sisters and got a chance to experience new thing in life (she met Zack, worked with August at the bee hives, etc.). But her main goal was to find out about her mother from the sisters. So one day she asked August if she knew her mother Deborah. August knew her mother and she actually took care of her when she lived here in Tiburon. Lily then also told her that she killed her and she started crying. August explained to her that she cannot blame herself for her death and that Deborah loved her and she should forgive herself. In time Lily forgave herself in a way, but the story does not end here. T-Ray found out that Lily went to Tiburon. He came to take her, but she refused. Then August came and explained to T-Ray that she will take care of Lily, and those words from August seemed enough for T-Ray so he left Lily there and she lived at August`s house.

Main characters


A teenager who is struggling of her mothers death. She also plays a person who is in love. Also very happy in the company of the sisters and she always wants to learn something new.


She is Lilies helper. A strong person, who does not allow to be humiliated and as a result of that she is also naive (she does not think about the consequences).


The oldest of the 3 sisters. She is also very wise (she spreads her knowledge to Lily and to the readers) and she is a generous person because she allowed Lily and Rosaleen to stay at their house.


At first she was presented as a sharp person. She did not trust Lily and she acted mean against her but later the story she settled and accepted Lily.


She is the youngest of the 3 sisters. She is a very kind person and also the most pure-hearted one. She is also in a some kind of mental disorder because her twin sister April has died and she could not get threw her death

My opinion

The book is a fast-reader. I loved the intense moments of the book, the various amount of different situation and for my opinion the best thing is that you collect knowledge about life. The only thing that bothered me was that at first I did not know who killed Deborah, it was not described enough for me to understand.

About the Author

- Sue Monk Kidd was born in Sylvester, Georgia on August 12

- She graduated from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in nursing

- She took writing courses in her 30s

- Her 3 first books were spiritual memoirs describing her experience in contemplative Christianity

- Her first novel, also the most famous one ( The Secret Life of Bees) was released in 2002

- She wrote also: The Mermaid Chair, The Invention of Wings, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter,...

10 interesting facts about bees

  1. Honey Bees are assigned jobs based on their age
  2. Honey Bees do not always die when stinging something
  3. Honey Bees know the world is round and can calculate angles
  4. It would only take about one ounce of honey to fuel a Honey Bee for a flight around the world
  5. Honey Bees are cold blooded
  6. Honey Bees are not native to the Americas
  7. The queen kills her mating partner after the mating
  8. The new queen has a choice to take an additional small swarm and leaves the hive to start a new one or she kills the other potential candidates for the queen and stays in the same hive
  9. The bees know if the queen dies by smell
  10. Changing queens will change the personality and the behaviour of the bees

You can go on this link for an extra explanation of the facts=>

the film

In 2008 was made an American drama film inspired by the book. It was directed by Gina Prince- Bythewood and produced by Will Smith. The film is better known for Queen Latifahˇs critically acclaimed performance as August Boatwright (the oldest sister). In the cast were Queen Latifah (August), Dakota Fanning (Lily), Jennifer Hudson (Rosaleen), Alicia Keys (June), Sophie Okonedo (May), Paul Bettany (T-Ray), Hilarie Burton (Lilyˇs mom), Tristan Wilds (Zach), Nate Parker (Neil) and Shondrella Avery (Zachˇs mom).