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Publisher's Summary

A fabulous coming-of-age debut novel that has sold over 5 million copies worldwide, and has been made into a movie starring Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo, and Paul Bettany.
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 14, 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 '60s 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 10 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.
©2003 Sue Monk Kidd (P)2008 Penguin Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Wonderfully written, powerful, poignant, and humorous... Do read it" (Joanna Trollope)
'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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By SUSAN on 02-22-15

Beautifully read
Beautifully written with great compassion
I loved the writing style and descriptive quality of this book
Sad in so many places but written with a great sense of how a child thinks and with a good sense of humor

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By Carole Withane on 01-31-15

Deeply personal and heart wrenching

Set in a sliver of tumultuous contemporary American history, the story follows Lilly's search for her true self and is warm, funny, sad, tragic, comical, romantic, instructive, serendipitous and slowly unravelling a raw truth and a bond that draws all the characters together. An unexpected joy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Mrs. K. J. D. CURRIE on 08-04-14

Love it - start to finish!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret Life of Bees to be better than the print version?

This is one of those stories that you never want to end - you fall in love with the characters and just want them to keep telling you their tales!

I listen to my books in the car and actually found myself driving a little slower to get home so that I could hear just a little more of the story!

The performance was captivating and I enjoyed every bit.

I don't have the printed version so can't compare but I'd recommend the audio in a heartbeat and feel that it added to my enjoyment of it!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The final scenes with Lily and her father.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes I went through lots of emotions - sadness, amusement and a sense of wellbeing at the end!

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended - and I'll be watching out for the film now too!

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

By Mrs on 09-26-14

feel good book

Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret Life of Bees to be better than the print version?

i have only listend to it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lily was a very sad lovely lonely brave girl looking for love trying to do the right thing living in a terrible situation and time.

What does Jenna Lamia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

perfect accent

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

loved all the information about bees, with out being lectured.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Anonymous User on 02-14-18


Just Amazing!!
This book makes you think about life. And appreciate what you have or what you will have.
So Amazing!!!

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By Marita on 02-05-18

What a beautiful book!

The best word I can think of is sweet - funny that it's linked to bees. A beautiful story, beautifully written - I couldn't fault the construction. And the reading is perfect for the voice of the 14 year old child who is narrating it. I cried a lot reading this book.

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