I hadn't read Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees even though it had come highly recommended from several people. I don't really know why, other than sometimes I feel overloaded with tales of Civil Rights and southerners, or perhaps I just wasn't interested in yet another coming of age book. But when our Sunday School Literature Class chose this novel as our next read, I figured I might as well give it a go, espcially after my friend Donna started raving about it.
I wish I could state as eloquently as the author why this book succeeds. There were moments when reading that I'd stop and be pulled out of the book simply by the beauty of the writing. For example, the author describes the moon pulling the darkness of night across the sky; I know I will never look at a summer moon rising just after dusk quite the same way again.
Beyond the beauty of the language, the relationships between the characters have so much depth that I think I could reread this book several times and not quite get to the bottom of it all. It could easily have slipped into that conundrum of "black people=good, white people=evil", and yet, the love encompassed so much more than skin tone. Truth is an underlying theme throughout with the idea that you can't go forward without looking back.
I loved this book and I'm so glad I read it. I haven't watched the movie yet, and I hear mixed reviews from my friends on that one. However, this book got inside me in such a good, profound way, I don't know if I even want to watch the movie. All I can say is, read this one. You won't be sorry.
My amazon review, in case you're inclined to visit and vote, can be found at http://www.amazon.com/review/R3I8ANKEOBG2GM/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm.