Thursday, October 09, 2008

BOOK REVIEW: "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd

"The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd is a book about life in the South in the 1960s. There is currently much hype surrounding this novel that was published in 2002 because the film version will be released within the next two weeks.

I was anxious to read the book after seeing the cast for the movie: Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and Sophie Okonedo. Nice.

But I want to focus on the book. I got through it quite quickly, so it's a rather simple read. Unfortunately for me, I'd just read MLK's "Why We Can't Wait" about the non-violence movement. So "The Secret Life of Bees" w/it's racial hatred was not what I bargained for. I need to separate my readings about civil rights and what not.

Sometimes one of the main characters in the book, Rosaleen, reminded me of Sophia in The Color Purple. Another movie w/a plot involving racial injustice.

I think my expectations for the book were too high. I just thought it was okay. I was not a fan of it at all. I did like the way the father treated the daughter. I thought that the story line was too much for a 14-year-old white girl in the South. I thought that it was too much fantasy - if a black woman skipped jail in one city, I think she'd be located in a short period of time especially if she were still in the same state - 1960s or otherwise.

I did like the connection w/the bees. That was interesting and intriguing. I did also like the sense of community and family that came through strongly in the book particularly in the Boatright home.

I want to say more, but I really don't like to give away all the details. Maybe get the audio version as a way to save some time.

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