Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

The Secret Life of Bees


There is only a small handful of books that I would call my absolute favorites, books that I have read several times because I enjoyed them so much.    One of those books in that group is The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd.

It is not a complicated story.  A motherless fourteen year old white girl named Lily runs away from her abusive father and takes refuge in the home of three African-American sisters.  The oldest sister, August, keeps bees and sells their honey under the label of The Black Madonna.   Lily learns the art of bee-keeping while healing from her deep psychic wounds.

One critical reviewer at Goodreads wrote that the novel is riddled with cliches.  Maybe.  But what keeps drawing me back to the story, the reason why I have worn out my hard copy and now have it on my e-reader, is that it glows with vibrant themes such as empowerment, personal strength, healing, the divine feminine, and most especially the survival of love in a hate-filled world.

My favorite line is when August says to Lily, “Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved.”


10 thoughts on “The Secret Life of Bees

  1. I led a book club in Melbourne Australia made up of people over 60 who had no previous knowledge of the deep South or its background. However we were struck by the deep spirituality of the novel. In Australia we do not have the same need for sisterhood as you seem to do and this made up a large part of our discussion. We are not a ‘them/us’ society and as voting is compulsory there is no attempt to prevent anyone from registering. We loved the Black Madonna figure as several members are devout Catholics and others are atheists! Great discussion – the book was recommended by a Canadian Mormon member!

  2. My sister raises bees so I’m into bees lately.

  3. I loved the story . I think I will get this book to read soon. Thanks for sharing this Lori

  4. I rarely re-read books, but this is one I have, and would definitely rate it a favorite. I have a deep connection to bees and that’s what initially drew me to the story. But it was the women who held my heart.

  5. That book has been on my to-read list for quite some time. You might have just pushed me closer to it. 😉

  6. I remember this book got rave reviews when it came out. I wonder if I have a copy in my TBR pile somewhere. Girl Who Reads

  7. I read this as part of an online book club. The story drew me in. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and reminding me of the book.

  8. I absolutely loved this book. I was devastating during one of the chapters, but had to keep on going.

    Every bee wants to be loved.

  9. Love, the concern about the other ahead of the needs of the self, is what everyone and everything needs to survive.

  10. Love the book and the movie. It’s like a fairy tale and bees need all the love they can get these days!

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