A Short Critique of The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Ahh. Another book finished. Another book enjoyed.
The Secret Life of Bees made my list of 100 Classics, in case you missed it. (Check it out here, yo.)
It’s mentioned on almost every list of must-read fiction. So I decided to give it a whirl.
I read Sue Monk’s Kidd The Mermaid Chair years ago, which left me a bit disappointed with the G-rated, Nicholas Sparks-type dialogue. So I started this book with half-hearted enthusiasm.
But Kidd’s debut novel is worth the read, yo.
I recently started a habit of placing dog ears on pages I fancy. I can’t quite bring myself to highlight anything, as this feels like a violation of the text and an intrusion on a fellow reader’s experience. But I like to commemorate beautiful phrasing when I encounter it, at least in some small way.
I have dozens of dog ears throughout this book.
Kidd writes with confidence and sophistication. Her use of first-person is realistic, and honest. Her characters are memorable, and in a word, lovely.
While I don’t believe I’d ever live down south, the thought of residing in a bright pink house and selling hand-crafted jars of honey makes me happy. This book made me yearn for the summer days of bare feet and ice-cold drinks. Fireworks. Tree swings.
My favorite character is without a doubt Miss August Boatwright. She is the embodiment of pure empathy. She has a patience, a wisdom, and a kindness I hope to employ for the rest of my days. I just want to hug her.
My favorite passage?
(pulls at hair like a cartoon character at the brink of a meltdown)
To make it easy on myself, I’ll go with my gut:
“I sipped. Rosaleen, however, downed hers so fast she let out a belch that the boys in my old junior high would have envied. It was unbelievable” (Kidd).
Yes, Sue Monk Kidd. Yes.
So let’s raise a jelly jar of sweet tea: May we have countless days of curiosity and companionship ahead, dear ones.
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