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The Secret Life of Bees

On sale

9th July 2020

Price: £10.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780747266839

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· A QUEEN’S READING ROOM PICK 2023

· OVER 125 WEEKS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST

· MADE INTO AN AWARD-WINNING MOVE STARRING QUEEN LATIFAH, DAKOTA FANNING, ALICIA KEYS, SOPHIE OKONEDO AND JENNIFER HUDSON

· AN ACCLAIMED STAGE MUSICAL

Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four years old. Now, at fourteen, she yearns for forgiveness and a mother’s love. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh and unforgiving father, she has only one friend, Rosaleen, a black servant.

When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily chooses to flee with her. Fugitives from justice, the pair 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.

‘A wonderful book, by turns sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris’ Daily Telegraph

‘Charming, funny, moving’ The Times

‘Wonderfully written, powerful, poignant . . . read it’ Joanna Trollope

What readers are saying about The Secret Life of Bees:

‘One of the most poignant and heart tugging books I have ever read⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ &#11088

Emotional and heart-breaking, yet full of hope and love. I laughed and cried equally through the book. This wonderful book will stay with me for a long time to come⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ &#11088

‘One of the best books I’ve read in a while. Touching, well-written, beautiful, full of expression, insightful⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ &#11088

‘A beautifully written masterpiece. I loved the writing, the descriptions, the humour sprinkled through the story. There was sadness and love, hope and forgiveness. I highly recommend this book⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ &#11088

Reviews

The Times
'Kidd's first novel is well placed, gentle and deeply moving' The Times
Bookseller
'A personal favourite, one of those infectiously written books you can't get out of your mind...a lovely tale' Bookseller
Buzz
'A tale that's beautifully and movingly written' Buzz
Joanna Trollope
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
The Times
Charming, funny, moving and unmistakeably from the American South... a story that whips together heat, violence, eccentricity, madness and the Gothic
New York Times Book Review
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
The Daily Telegraph
This is a wonderful book, by turns funny, sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris.
Anita Shreve
Eccentric, inventive, and ultimately forgiving... a truly original Southern voice
Luanne Rice
Sue Monk Kidd... Illuminates what is beautiful... THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES is a gift, filled with hope
Anne Rivers Siddons
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
Kirkus Reviews
A wonderfully written debut novel
Christina Schwarz
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
Oxford Times
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
Connie May Fowler
Sue Monk Kidd has written a wonderful novel about mothers and daughters and the transcendent power of love
Susan Isaacs
What a splendid novel! It's wonderfully thoughtful and sensitive and compulsively readable
Literary Review
Monk Kidd has created a narrative as skilful and sweet as a honeycomb. Uplifting and warm-hearted, this is a moving novel and Lily is a fascinating, funny and clever narrator
Glasgow Evening Times
An incredibly original and imaginative book with great charm and atmosphere
The Big Issue
A wonderful modern fairy tale...a touching story with a memorable cast of characters
Publishers Weekly
A hive's worth of appealing female characters, an off-beat plot and a lovely style... Deeply satisfying
Elle
A honey-sweet novel
Woman & Home
Superb
Book magazine
Maybe it is true that there are no perfect books, but I closed this one believing that I had found perfection. The language is never anything short of crystalline and inspired. The plotting is subtle and careful and exquisitely executed...The characters are lovable and deep-hearted, fully dimensional, never pat. The story endures long after the book is slipped back onto the shelf
Joanna Trollope
Moving, original, and accomplished ... 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
The Times
Charming, funny, moving and unmistakeably from the American South... a story that whips together heat, violence, eccentricity, madness and the Gothic
New York Times Book Review
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
The Daily Telegraph
This is a wonderful book, by turns funny, sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris.
Anita Shreve
Eccentric, inventive, and ultimately forgiving... a truly original Southern voice
Luanne Rice
Sue Monk Kidd... Illuminates what is beautiful... THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES is a gift, filled with hope
Anne Rivers Siddons
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
Kirkus Reviews
A wonderfully written debut novel
Christina Schwarz
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
Oxford Times
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
Connie May Fowler
Sue Monk Kidd has written a wonderful novel about mothers and daughters and the transcendent power of love
Susan Isaacs
What a splendid novel! It's wonderfully thoughtful and sensitive and compulsively readable
Literary Review
Monk Kidd has created a narrative as skilful and sweet as a honeycomb. Uplifting and warm-hearted, this is a moving novel and Lily is a fascinating, funny and clever narrator
Glasgow Evening Times
An incredibly original and imaginative book with great charm and atmosphere
The Big Issue
A wonderful modern fairy tale...a touching story with a memorable cast of characters
Publishers Weekly
A hive's worth of appealing female characters, an off-beat plot and a lovely style... Deeply satisfying
Elle
A honey-sweet novel
Woman & Home
Superb
Book magazine
Maybe it is true that there are no perfect books, but I closed this one believing that I had found perfection. The language is never anything short of crystalline and inspired. The plotting is subtle and careful and exquisitely executed...The characters are lovable and deep-hearted, fully dimensional, never pat. The story endures long after the book is slipped back onto the shelf