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Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four. She not only has her own memory of holding the gun, but her father's account of the event. Now fourteen, she yearns for her mother, and for forgiveness. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, she has only one friend: Rosaleen, a black servant whose sharp exterior hides a tender heart. South Carolina in the sixties is a place where segregation is still considered a cause worth fighting for. When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily is compelled to act. Fugitives from justice and from Lily's harsh and unyielding father, they 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.
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I am amazed that this moving, original, and accomplished book is a first novel. It is wonderfully written, powerful, poignant, and humorous, and takes a line which is - refreshingly - strongly female without being cliche-feminist. It is also deliciously eccentric, which lifts it out of the usual category of a rite-of-passage novel into the realms of real distinction. Do read it (Joanna Trollope)
Charming, funny, moving and unmistakeably from the American South... a story that whips together heat, violence, eccentricity, madness and the Gothic (The Times)
Lily is a wonderfully petulant and self-absorbed adolescent, and Kidd deftly portrays her sense of injustice as it expands to accomodate broader social evils...August and her sisters, June and May, are no mere vehicles for Lily's salvation; they are individuals as fully imagined as the sweltering, kudzu-carpeted landscape that surrounds them (New York Times Book Review)
This is a wonderful book, by turns funny, sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris. (The Daily Telegraph)
Eccentric, inventive, and ultimately forgiving... a truly original Southern voice (Anita Shreve)
Sue Monk Kidd... Illuminates what is beautiful... THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES is a gift, filled with hope (Luanne Rice)
This is the story of a young girl's journey toward healing, and of finding, at its end, not only wholeness, but the intrinsic sacredness of living in the world. I think it is simply wonderful (Anne Rivers Siddons)
A wonderfully written debut novel (Kirkus Reviews)
With imagination as lush and colorful as the American South, a clutch of deliciously eccentric characters, and vivid prose, Sue Monk Kidd creates a rich, maternal haven in a harsh world (Christina Schwarz)
As original as its title and rivetingly so... It is one of the most inventive books I have read in a long time, and utterly compelling... This book demands to be read again and again, for it is not so much the solving of the mystery that is compulsive, but the gentle, sensitive, humorous and intensely colourful creation of a world far from our own (Oxford Times)
Sue Monk Kidd's exquisite first novel has been extraordinarily successful, with sales of over 2.5 million in the US and over a year on the Publishers News bestseller list. It received huge acclaim in the UK, including this: 'Wonderfully written, powerful, poignant, and humorous... Do read it' Joanna Trollope
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Book Description Headline Book Publishing, 2005. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0755330021