Customer Reviews


783 Reviews
5 star:
 (483)
4 star:
 (145)
3 star:
 (57)
2 star:
 (48)
1 star:
 (50)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I thouroughly enjoyed the journey I took with Lily Owens
Lily is 14 the summer her world changes. She lost her mother at four in a terrible accident that she can't remember more than as a blur. Her father T Ray is a hard and manipulating man who shows no love for his daughter. Lily has been raised by Rosaleen, a black woman has been Lily's surrogate mother. Bees are a focal part of Lily's young life. She hears them in the walls...
Published on Oct. 14 2007 by D. R. Rooney

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sappy and Full of Cliche's
I simply cannot understand what anyone likes about this book. It reads like an after-school special and is so loaded with cliches that you'd think the author invented the "write by numbers" method. African Americans should be particularly nauseated by the stereotypes resurrected here. All the black women are named something goofy like Queenie or Sugar Mama...
Published on March 16 2004 by The Bohn's


‹ Previous | 1 279 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I thouroughly enjoyed the journey I took with Lily Owens, Oct. 14 2007
This review is from: The Secret Life of Bees (Paperback)
Lily is 14 the summer her world changes. She lost her mother at four in a terrible accident that she can't remember more than as a blur. Her father T Ray is a hard and manipulating man who shows no love for his daughter. Lily has been raised by Rosaleen, a black woman has been Lily's surrogate mother. Bees are a focal part of Lily's young life. She hears them in the walls at night and her father laughs at her but Lily knows they are there. One day in town Rosaleen insults 3 racists and Lily knows it is finally time to leave and go in search of the mother she lost so long ago. Her journey takes her to the town of Tiburon. A name her mother wrote on the back of a picture of a black madonna. There Lily and Rosaleen are taken in by 3 black sisters, May, June and August. The sisters are beekeepers. So begins the summer of Lily finding herself and what really happened to her mother. This is a wonderful story of life. About mothers and daughters and relationships with women who become our true mothers. I really enjoyed this book. It brought back memories of the soul searching that is involved with the loss of one's mother. It takes time but with time peace can be found.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Y'all Stop Now, July 22 2007
This review is from: The Secret Life of Bees (Paperback)
A motherless girl who sets off on her own to find a mother, it doesn't matter to Lily the color or age, and discovers herself and more than she was expecting. "In the photo by my bed my mother is perptually smiling on me. I guess I have forgiven us both, although sometimes in the night my dreams will take me back to the sadness, and I have to wake up and forgive us again." She is now fourteen and was only four when her mother tragically died in the heat of rage.
THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, about maternal loss and betrayal, guilt and forgiveness, has a wisdom about life, entwined with the transforming power of love, and it reminded me so strongly of the books THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER and the ever-popular and jaw-dropping BARK OF THE DOGWOOD. But Kidd's novel has something even these other books don't-a sweetness that feeds the soul. The main character's harsh father had made her believe that she was responsible for the death of her mother.

This being a fictional account, the main character could forgive her mother for leaving her alone, seeking for what was taken from her. She longs for and goes on a search to find the single thing her heart longs for. I, on the other hand, could not forgive -- or forget how very helpless a young girl feels as she struggles for some kind of closure to her grief. This is truly a forgiving story for the motherless child in all of us.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No secret here, Oct. 13 2006
This review is from: The Secret Life of Bees (Paperback)
THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES is one of a handful of books that I would recommend to a friend or the average Amazon reader. LIFE OF PI is another, along with Sedaris's ME TALK PRETTY. All are different-unique in their own way. But all are also stellar reads. Sue Monk Kidd does a brilliant job of laying out a storyline that is not only believable, but is interesting as well. I could not put this book down. Lily Owens will capture your heart. Despite the abuse from the hands of her father T. Ray, she turned out to be a survivor. Sharing her destiny with the beekeeping sisters, and their Black Madonna honey, she finally attains some emotional security in her life. May, one of the sisters is someone who inspires. This is a novel for young adults and adults, because at 14, Lily fights with the hazy memory of her dead mother whom she misses and longs for in rural South Carolina of 1964, where racial violence is inescapable. She finds solace in her surrogate mother - the family's black servant, Rosaleen, who later becomes a victim of racial hatred. It moved on to the escape of Lily and Rosaleen, the search for the identity of Lily's mother's identity and the quest for a sense of belonging in her life This journey led Lily and Rosaleen into the lives of three strange but alluring beekeepers who set Lily who helped Lily to grow up and be at peace with her family and its history.

Also recommended: KATZENJAMMER by Jackson McCrae
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No secret here, May 24 2006
This review is from: The Secret Life of Bees (Paperback)
THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES is one of a handful of books that I would recommend to a friend or the average Amazon reader. LIFE OF PI is another, along with Sedaris's ME TALK PRETTY. All are different-unique in their own way. But all are also stellar reads. Sue Monk Kidd does a brilliant job of laying out a storyline that is not only believable, but is interesting as well. I could not put this book down. Lily Owens will capture your heart. Despite the abuse from the hands of her father T. Ray, she turned out to be a survivor. Sharing her destiny with the beekeeping sisters, and their Black Madonna honey, she finally attains some emotional security in her life. May, one of the sisters is someone who inspires. This is a novel for young adults and adults, because at 14, Lily fights with the hazy memory of her dead mother whom she misses and longs for in rural South Carolina of 1964, where racial violence is inescapable. She finds solace in her surrogate mother - the family's black servant, Rosaleen, who later becomes a victim of racial hatred. It moved on to the escape of Lily and Rosaleen, the search for the identity of Lily's mother's identity and the quest for a sense of belonging in her life This journey led Lily and Rosaleen into the lives of three strange but alluring beekeepers who set Lily who helped Lily to grow up and be at peace with her family and its history.
Also recommended: KATZENJAMMER by Jackson McCrae
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, May 19 2005
By 
Monica (New York, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Secret Life of Bees (Paperback)
I have made it a point of reading inspirational books which can help me have a positive outlook to life. Though it reads like a non-fictional memoir, "The Secret Life of Bees" even though it is fictitious, has been tremendously helpful to me as an inspirational book. It is brilliantly written with amazing details and beautiful settings. It showed the unique creativity of the author. This hard to put down book, is sure to capture your heart with its imagery.
Sue Monk Kidd does a brilliant job of laying out a storyline that is not only believable, but is interesting as well. I could not put this book down. Lily Owens will capture your heart. Despite the abuse from the hands of her father T. Ray, she turned out to be a survivor. Sharing her destiny with the beekeeping sisters, and their Black Madonna honey, she finally attains some emotional security in her life. May, one of the sisters is someone who inspires. This is a novel for young adults and adults, because at 14, Lily fights with the hazy memory of her dead mother whom she misses and longs for in rural South Carolina of 1964, where racial violence is inescapable. She finds solace in her surrogate mother - the family's black servant, Rosaleen, who later becomes a victim of racial hatred. It moved on to the escape of Lily and Rosaleen, the search for the identity of Lily's mother's identity and the quest for a sense of belonging in her life This journey led Lily and Rosaleen into the lives of three strange but alluring beekeepers who set Lily who helped Lily to grow up and be at peace with her family and its history.
The story is told through Lily's eyes, mouth, mind and heart, and as such it is deep, hilarious and inspiring. When we read about the beehive and honey-making, we get the sense that Lily has a deep desire for nurturance, owing to the absence of a mother in her life. The Secret Life of Bees will certainly strike a chord with any family.Recommended stories are DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE,TALES OF BURNING LOVE, NO SECOND CHANCE, in the sense that they go to add to this rich theme.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book to read this season, Dec 29 2004
This review is from: The Secret Life of Bees (Paperback)
A motherless girl who sets off on her own to find a mother, it doesn't matter to Lily the color or age, and discovers herself and more than she was expecting. "In the photo by my bed my mother is perptually smiling on me. I guess I have forgiven us both, although sometimes in the night my dreams will take me back to the sadness, and I have to wake up and forgive us again." She is now fourteen and was only four when her mother tragically died in the heat of rage.
This story about maternal loss and betrayal, guilt and forgiveness, has a wisdom about life, entwined with the transforming power of love. Her harsh father had made her believe that she was responsible for the death of her mother. My older sister, Evelyn, felt guilty all her life about going to visit a neighbor after she'd awakened from a nap (while our mother was working in a garden), and the boy older than she woke to an empty house and accidentally was killed. Evelyn always thought that if she'd stayed, the accident would not have happened.
That haunting tragedy happened a few years before my birth so I know only Evelyn's childhood remembrance and how much she suffered for being just a little girl. It's possible that she was the same age as Lily when her mother was killed.
This being a fictional account, she could forgive her mother for leaving her alone, seeking for what was taken from her. She longs for and goes on a search to find the single thing her heart longs for. I, on the other hand, could not forgive -- or forget how very helpless a young girl feels as she struggles for some kind of closure to her grief. This is truly a forgiving story for the motherless child in all of us.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sappy and Full of Cliche's, March 16 2004
By 
The Bohn's (Franklin, TN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Secret Life of Bees (Paperback)
I simply cannot understand what anyone likes about this book. It reads like an after-school special and is so loaded with cliches that you'd think the author invented the "write by numbers" method. African Americans should be particularly nauseated by the stereotypes resurrected here. All the black women are named something goofy like Queenie or Sugar Mama. They all wear outrageously colorful clothes and big hats with feathers and fruit on them. Big surprise here...the white girl falls for the black boy.. which, gasp!, causes racial tension on the town. LIke all good southern dramas, someone is a little mentally off, but never violent or annoying to rest of the family. Of course, she comes to a tragic end. Who would have guessed??? In the end, everything tidies up neatly with marriages, father-daughter reconcilation and love, love, love all around. There wasn't an orignial though in the book. Very disappointing. I was going to give it one star, but I did learn a bit about bees which was interesting, so I threw in the extra star for educational value.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The secret is out, Jan. 24 2005
This review is from: The Secret Life of Bees (Paperback)
We are all, in some way, in search of ourselves. And one way we cope, explore, seek truths, and entertain the soul is through the reading of books. Sue Monk Kidd's SECRET LIFE OF BEES is a book that delivers all these things . . . and then some. Is this the last word on the South during the Civil Rights Era? Probably not. But it is one woman's take on what she either remembered or created. That's why we call it fiction. It's not a documentary and it's not meant to be total realism. There are authors who provide that, but Kidd isn't one of them. Rather, she gives us marvelously crafted quasi-poetry and a nice little story. If you enjoyed books such as Jackson McCrae's "The Children's Corner" or Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," then you'll like "Bees."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Thumbs Up, Universally Great, Jan. 6 2004
This review is from: The Secret Life of Bees (Paperback)
My wife and I read books together and compare our opinions. As the unofficial secretary in our democratic household, I then try to encapsulate our combined opinions into one review. Like most couples, there are many things we don't agree on. When this occurs my wife attributes it to her being right and me being stupid. This is often the case with books - there will be a book I can't wait to discuss because I love it, only to discover my wife hates it. This is not always the case. There are many books that we agree upon as being good or enjoyable. However, there are very few that we agree upon as being universally great. In fact, our "great" list is limited to three in the past year (obviously not three in all time, that would be an indication of a marriage that is heavily on the rocks). SECRET LIFE OF BEES by SUE MONK KIDD (along with THE DA VINCI CODE and MY FRACTURED LIFE) is one of our three books we recommend as being universally great. If my wife and I can agree on it, then rest assured men and women of all ages and backgrounds will be able to relate and enjoy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Several Wonderful Books, Dec 14 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Secret Life of Bees (Paperback)
There are several wonderful books this year that has caught my attention. Mostly written by female authors,yet no matter the 'genre' they are excellent in the story they tell. In each of the stories you learn compassion,understanding and above all each teaches you the will to thrive and survive through whatever emotional unhappiness they have been dealt. The first of which is of course-'Secret Life Of Bees'. The other books are: 'Dry' and 'Nightmares Echo'. Take the time to enjoy, I rate them highly
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 279 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Secret Life of Bees
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Paperback - Jan. 28 2003)
CDN$ 17.00 CDN$ 12.27
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews