Literary Postmortem: The Secret Life of Bees

downloadI finished reading the novel (The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd) last week and have been having a bit on an internal debate about whether I should write about it or not. A gap in my schedule presented itself so here I am.

Recently started a book club with some friends and this was the book I got in our first swap. I chose it as soon as I saw it on the table because I vaguely remember liking the movie when it came out a few years back.

Sometimes I do enjoy reading the book after the movie because I don’t have to create characters in my own head that I will probably be disappointed in when I see the movie after the fact. But only sometimes – this time for sure. I could see the action in the book more clearly because of it this time.

It was a good read, short and engaging – one of those page turners we always yearn for. It was full of colour and emotion. There were quite a few things I had forgotten from the movie that caught me by surprise, which was fun.

The only thing I found unpalatable was the main character – Lily Owens. I understand that she was young and my impatience with her was probably unwarranted. I also understand that the book is set in a certain time and political climate in America, but I still couldn’t reconcile with some of her racism and selfish behaviours.

I enjoyed the Boatwright sisters and Rosaleen the most because I could relate to all of them in different ways. Through them I got to feel a kind of hope for change that I didn’t get from Lily – even though she “dated” a black guy. But her love story was also another highlight for me – the way she spoke about Zachary Taylor was the only times I felt a bit of connection with her.

I would recommend it but I don’t rate it as something you must read before you die.

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