Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Teen Review: Realistic fiction
The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd
Fiction, Coming-of-age novel
High school reading level
Katelyn Harms, 8th grade
The Secret Life of Bees is Sue Monk Kidd's first novel. Set in the summer of 1964, this coming-of-age novel features Lily Owens, a motherless 14-year-old girl whose entire life was set around a memory of unintentionally killing her mother when she was a small child. Overwhelmed with the need to know about her mother and escape the father who never forgave her, she left Sylvan, South Carolina. Arriving with her black stand-in mother in the small town of Tiburon, South Carolina, she learned just what she didn't want to know about her mother. But, she managed to find herself.
This is a fantastic rendition of a young girl's journey to find a mother. Sue Monk Kidd's voice brings an astonishing amount of realism to this beautiful story. This book contains more sorrow and pain than anyone can bear to hold, but it also brings a fierce kind of happiness that will stick with the reader through thick and thin. Kidd's passion gleams persistently throughout the piece, and each reader finishes the book with a glimmer of her strong persona.
This has to be one of the best books I've ever read. I find myself reluctant to share it with anybody else because of the impact it has made on me. Although if you're to read any book, The Secret Life of Bees is the best option you'll find. I would rate this book a 5/5. Sue Monk Kidd is a splendid Southern voice, one you won't be able to find anywhere else. I know I'll be reading other books of hers; I've already started on The Invention of Wings. This novel will impact readers young and old. I know, without a doubt, that you'll enjoy it.
Editor's note: We have both of these books as sound recordings (audio books), and the DVD of the movie made from The Secret Life of Bees. Katelyn, we hope you will review The Invention of Wings for us when you have finished it!