Friday, 4 February 2011

Book Review - The Secret Life Of Bees

Title: The Secret Life Of Bees
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Publisher: Headline Review
ISBN-13: 978-0747266839

Lily struggles with a burden of guilt after she accidentally killed her mother a decade before, and she longs for knowledge of the woman. When the family's caretaker Rosaleen is arrested after standing up to a group of violent white men, Lily seizes the opportunity to run off with Rosaleen and search for clues to her mother's life. They arrive at the home of the Boatwrights, a trio of black sisters. Motherly Augustcultivates the state's most coveted honey, June focuses on her music and on rebuffing the advances of an ardent suitor, and childlike May struggles to stay happy in the turbulent time. But in a still-racist world where the Civil Rights Act has just been passed, the Boatwrights' home acts as a haven for Lily as she searches for information about her mother's past. 

My Review
I never would have normally picked this book up, it is not my usual sort of read. So why did I? well, Dakota Fanning is one of my favourite actresses and I found out she had stared in teh movie version, i found a trailer and watched. It looked really good, an interesting story. But being the person I am, I cannot watch a film without reading the book first. So whilst I waited for my DVD to arrive, i found a copy of the book in the library and began to read.
I am glad I found out about this book and decided to read it because i was instantly hooked. I really felt like i was becoming a part of Lily's life and was there as she struggled with her past, present and the questions of the future.
I can't write too much without giving away major points of the story, but the story is very well written and the imagery is very vivid, it is set in South Carolina and I could picture the honey farm and the pink house she stays in with the Boatwrights.
The novel all leads up to the end, and I was kept in suspense right to that point, I hd ideas of where it was heading but only got a few details right. 
This novel is exciting, hopeful, funny, sad, sweet, fantastic and magical.

My Rating
I would give this book 9.5/10 -I strongly urge you to find a copy and give it a go. I loved it.

Update - My copy of the film arrived today so i watched it this afternoon, I have to say i was surprised by how faithful it was to the book, really brought it to life. Dakota Fanning portrays Lily brilliantly and the casting of the Boatwright sisters was spot on. Just like the book had me laughing and crying. So glad to have seen it and know I will go back to it again.


Annette said...

I enjoyed this novel enough that I read her other one - The Mermaid Chair, which was also really good.

Thanks for the review!

Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiner's Book Blog) said...

Not my usual type of book either, but based on your review, I'll have to give it a go.

Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog
Loving the Reviews Challenge

barmybex said...

Annette, thanks i didn't realise she had another book out, will definitely try to find a copy.
Brandi - you should try it, it is so good. :D

Alice Dwyer said...

I loved this book. It was so sweet and endearing yet carried a very strong message! Great review!

Beth said...

I became curious at the "accidentally killed her mother." This seems way more serious than my usual picks but I might read it anyhow, because it sounds so interesting.

barmybex said...

Beth u should try it, that is the opening line of the book and it is sent to shock, but really the story is about hope and love. it;s really good. :D