Hey guys! Today I’m continuing my ‘5 reasons to read’ series with one of my all-time favourite books, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd! I have read this book numerous times; my most recent reread was June this year and I knew I had to make a post for my ‘5 reasons’ series!
It’s full of symbolism
I actually read this book for the first time in school and I wrote a cracking essay on the author’s use of symbolism. I wish I could remember half of what I’d said now! The most obvious symbol is the bees themselves, and the parallels between hive life and the lives of the Boatwright sisters are abundant. The epigraphs at the start of each chapter impart fascinating bee-related knowledge while also foreshadowing the events that take place in each chapter.
The women are kick-ass
This book is bursting at the seams with strong females and I love every one of them. August is the epitome of a strong woman and is so full of amazing life advice (I suppose I have to credit the author for that but I feel like, if I was ever to find that bright pink house, August would be right there putting the world to rights). Rosaleen is another amazing woman with fire in her soul, who refuses to accept the discrimination she faces. And then there’s May. One of my favourite characters ever, May is just so pure and fills my whole heart with her innocence.
The scene setting is perfect
As far as I’m aware, Tiburon, South Carolina is a fictional place. But I so wish it was real! It sounds so lush and verdant; I would love to see the pink house and the fields of bee hives, and just bask in that gorgeous sunshine.
It’s full of wisdom
As I already mentioned, August is like the kind auntie that everybody wants. She becomes a kind of surrogate mother to the lost and vulnerable Lily, and helps her to navigate the challenges of growing up. I empathise strongly with Lily, having lost my own mum when I was very young, and a lot of the advice that August gives to her young charge really resonates with me.
It has a powerful message
Perhaps the most important reason I would urge you to read The Secret Life of Bees is its message. Sue Monk Kidd shines a light on racism and gender stereotyping, and urges readers not to stand for discrimination just because it might be seen as the norm. (While the book views this topic through a historical lens, it is a timeless message that remains relevant.) Some scenes make for uncomfortable reading but the overall effect is incredibly impactful.
So those are my five reasons to read The Secret Life of Bees! This book is truly a forever favourite of mine and I will be recommending it to people for the rest of my life. Please, if you haven’t already, give it a read! And if you have read it, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought of it! x