The Secret Life of Bees

Author: Susan Monk Kidd
Lexile Level: 840L
Grade Level Equivalant: 7.2
Historical Fiction

At the age of 14, all Lily wants is to be loved and accepted.  With the tragic loss of her mother 10 years earlier, Lily has known nothing but isolation and heartache.  Having been raised by an abusive, emotionally absent father she longs to know what her mother was like.  After Lily's African American housekeeper/nanny (Rosalene) is arrested, beaten, and jailed, Lily and Rosalene run away from Lily's father and the men that will surely kill Rosalene.  Taken in by three women beekeepers, both Lily and Rosalene finally find a place where they are loved, accepted, and Lily can learn the truth about her mother.

I downloaded this onto my ipod simply for lack of anything else available from the library.  At first I wasn't so thrilled, as it was hard to get into, and there were some "did she really just say that?" moments.  However, as the story went on, I did get more into it and ended up liking the book~ at least enough to want to watch the movie.  This was one of those books that reminds its readers of the injustices faced by African Americans during the early 60's.  My sympathies were also aroused for Lily's plight, being stuck with such a jerk for a father.  The language was terrible and the author had to put in phrases such as "she opened her blouse because she wanted to feel the rain on her chest", which are just so unnecessary (I've never done that!!!).  I realize I am overly sensitive, but I don't love it when author's do this, particularly in teenage books.  Overall, this wasn't the greatest book I've ever read, but lots better than most issues of National Geographic I have read.


1 comment:

  1. I read this for book club. I enjoyed it, although parts of it were a little strange to me. But...we never got together to talk about it unfortunately.


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