Summary of the Book
Set in the American South in 1964, the year of the Civil Rights Act
and intensifying racial unrest, Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of
Bees is a powerful story of coming-of-age, of the ability of love to
transform our lives, and the often unacknowledged longing for the
universal feminine divine. Addressing the wounds of loss, betrayal, and
the scarcity of love, Kidd demonstrates the power of women coming
together to heal those wounds, to mother each other and themselves, and
to create a sanctuary of true family and home.
Lily is raised by Rosaleen, her proud and outspoken African-American
nanny. When Rosaleen attempts to exercise her newly won right to vote,
she is attacked by the three worst racists in town and is thrown into
jail. Lily is determined to save Rosaleen and finally escape her own
father as well. Seizing the moment, she springs Rosaleen from jail, and
the two set out across South Carolina in search of a new life.
This book summary is from www.readinggroupguides.com.
There are over 4 million copies of the novel in print (Publisher’s
Weekly, 4/18/05); it was on the New York Times bestseller list for 80
weeks and is still on the New York Times trade paperback bestseller list
(115 weeks as of 5/2/05). It has been published in more than 20
languages. Nominated for the prestigious Orange Prize in England, it
became the 2004 BookSense book of the year. A movie version is
forthcoming from Fox Searchlight.
Book Reviews of Secret Life of Bees