Review: The Secret Life of Bees

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The Secret Life of Bees
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading this book is like drinking honey. The author has an incredible way with words, a simple, creative flow. I’ve heard this book described as a “civil rights” or “female empowerment” book. I disagree. Calling it a book “about” civil rights is like calling The Grapes of Wrath a book “about” California. It’s a soulful, expertly wrought story set in 1960s rural South Carolina about a young teenage runaway and her caretaker escaping an abusive home and town and finding a haven, where they seem to heal and learn from a beekeeping trio of sisters. There is really no need to insert the words “white,” “black,” or “female” into that sentence to make it any more compelling than it already is, unfettered. Beekeeping and honeymaking is a romantic vocation, and the author explodes that romance on the page and by way of metaphor teaches very important lessons about motherhood, escaping, caring for a hive, mourning, and bravery.

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Victor A. Davis has always loved reading and writing short stories. He is an avid hiker and even when away from the world of laptops and wifi, keeps a pocket paperback and a handwritten journal to keep him company on trail. He is the author of two short story collections, Grains of Sand and The Gingerbread Collection. Join his Mailing List for special announcements about upcoming works.