The Secret Life of Bees

“The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd (U.S.)

Review

Most readers liked the book describing it as an easy read. They got a good feel to both its location and historical setting (South Carolina at the time of signing of Civil Rights Act). They found most of the characters likeable warming to one or other of them depending on their own sensibilities and they liked the different ways in which the author portrayed their relationships with our protagonist. They enjoyed the beekeeping elements that imbue the book and liked the bee-related epigrams at the beginning of each chapter. One reader had mixed feelings about the story describing it as a bit too sentimental, though liking the wisdom and humour she found in it; and another reader found it somewhat superficial as she felt it tried to cover too many topics. Overall, the book averaged a 7.3 out of 10.

The theme this season is “Book to Film Adaptations”. Released in 2008, the film adaptation was written for the screen and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah and Alicia Keys star in it. Compared to the book, the film lacked somewhat in depth with a number of important scenes glossed over or changed. As a result, viewers felt that it didn’t have as much intensity as the book. On the other hand, they really appreciated the attention to detail that was particularly noticeable inside the Boatwright sisters’ house. They enjoyed the scenes that took place there and also outside and at the beehives. They thought that the film was a fairly good adaptation of the book.

Synopsis

Lily Owens has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was just four years old. Now it’s the summer of 1964 and she’s fourteen, and yearns for forgiveness and a mother’s love. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh and unyielding father T. Ray, she has only one friend, Rosaleen, their housekeeper… Read more

Season 12 – “Book to Film Adaptations” (Sep 2010 – Jan 2011)

“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini (Afghanistan)
“The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd (U.S.)
“Before Night Falls” by Reinaldo Arenas (Cuba)
“Brick Lane” by Monica Ali (U.K.)
“Disgrace” by J.M. Coetzee (South Africa) *

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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