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  • The Secret Life of Bees

  • Written by: Sue Monk Kidd
  • Narrated by: Jenna Lamia
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (195 ratings)
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The Secret Life of Bees

Written by: Sue Monk Kidd
Narrated by: Jenna Lamia
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Publisher's Summary

Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed.

When Lily's fierce-hearted "stand-in mother", Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina - a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There, they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household.

This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love - a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

©2003 Sue Monk Kidd (P)2008 Penguin

Featured Article: 20 of the Best Strong Fictional Female Lead Characters Who Will Inspire You

From feisty fiery females to women warriors, this list of audiobooks features the best stories and epic tales with strong fictional female lead characters that will inspire you.

What listeners say about The Secret Life of Bees

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Beautiful

I had read this book many years ago and wanted to read again. I NEVER re-read but it has stayed with me all these years. Listening to it was enchanting, adding another dimension to one of my most favourite stories. Well done and thank you.

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3 people found this helpful

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LOVED!

The narrator is probably the main reason I loved this book so much! She’s adorable and so much emotion behind her words. Phenomenal choice of narrator and story. It was beautifully wrote and read. Deep details that created feeling through the story line. Loved this book!

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1 person found this helpful

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Once again Sue kills it

Another amazing story by Sue Monk Kidd, wish it hadn’t taken me so long to get to it!
Loved the narration as well!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Love it!

I searched on ChatGPT asked for an easy reading book and this book came up :) thanks chatGPT I loved it :)

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  • nat
  • 2023-04-08

wonderful!

saw the movie years ago and enjoyed it, the book is so much better! wonderful narration, highly recommend 🙂

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Great listen

This book is a heartwarming story, and a great attention keeper.

Genuinely enjoyed listening to the narrator.

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I decided to read the book after seeing the movie

A great movie but the book filled many gaps the move missed on so much.

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Heartfelt Story

Being adopted myself makes this story so touching. Learning actual details about the oppression in the fifties and sixties in American southern states was interesting as well.

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beautiful story

This was a beautiful heartfelt story. I loved it from start to finish. Highly recommend

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A beautifully told story

I have read this previously, just as enjoyable the second time. Such a wonderful story with great characters

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  • Joey
  • 2010-05-17

Awesome narrator

This is a great book by itself. Add narrator Jenna Lamia and it's one of my all time favorite audiobooks. I liked Jenna Lamia so much in this book that I bought a bunch more books that she narrated without even having heard of them (with mixed results). She has the perfect voice for this story.

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36 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Reina
  • 2010-12-17

Excellent Book

I have no complaints about this book, only praise. It was well written, kept my attention, I was captivated by the characters, and loved the narrator. This is one that will be listened to many times. You will find yourself laughing and crying along with the joys and sorrows of the characters as they grow from their experiences. Buy this book! You will be like me and finding more books by Sue Monk Kidd.

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26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Walker
  • 2010-07-29

So Goooooooooooood!

OK, I bought this when it was on sale. I had it in my wish list for a long time but it was low priority. Boy am I glad I got it! Aside from really enjoying Jenna Lamia as a narrator of other audiobooks, I thing she did a really good job here, even if her southern accent was less than authentic.
The story is lovely and heartbreaking. I've wanted to see the movie but now that I've enjoyed the book so much I'm afraid that Hollywoods version will destroy the beauty of it.

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26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L
  • 2010-02-05

It's hard to stop listening...

This book's story line, character development, rich imagery and pacing are such a treat! The narrator's vocal ability is superb and she provides added depth in the way she represents the characters and describes the scenes. This is my first GREAT audiobook experience and my enthusiasm for this format has been renewed.

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19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ann Victoria Hopcroft, Esq.
  • 2011-01-15

Bee Buddies Buffer Baddies

A poignant story of a young girl who finds herself born into a violent, abusive, rascist environment and has the strength, ingenuity and open-mindedness to fashion a beautiful new life for herself encouraged by the secret lives of the bees and their most excellent keepers. The effort was appreciated also as a cultural commentary, lest those of us living in this arguably post-racial society might not remember the hurt, pain and misunderstandings wrought by racism.
The story is well-constructed; the characters are well-developed -- I want to meet August Boatright -- and masterfully narrated. A very enjoyable listen.

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17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L.B.
  • 2011-06-06

Beautifully Written, Beautifully Read

After wearing out the paperback version of this book, I finally broke down and purchased the audiobook. Jenna Lamia does a great job of narrating, and really helps the reader to fall even more in love with Lily and the other strong female characters.

The story itself is inspiring and heartwarming. There is sadness and darkness, but Sue Monk Kidd does a great job of interjecting humor and lightheartedness at the perfect times. I've read and listened to this book more times than I can count, and it has never disappointed.

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon Ackerman
  • 2009-06-12

Good book

This is a great book. It is a wonderful story and I love the way the narrator reads it. The movie is really good, and I saw it first, but the book is so much better - as is usually the case.

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ed
  • 2011-02-03

An enjoyable listen

Had I not read "The Help" first, so much this book might have earned five stars too. To me, the most interesting character is this story was May. The author earned six stars for May's character development. As a matter of fact, most of the female characters were well done, while I thought the male characters were average. The story was fairly predictable with no big surprises and no outrageous plot twists. I think the story lends itself to a sequel and I hope the author takes a stab at one. I look forward to renting the movie version. And the narrator did an outstanding job.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Melanie
  • 2010-12-28

Wonderful

One of the best books I've ever read or listened to! Couldn't turn it off!!!

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sasha
  • 2010-02-03

Like honey, this novel is a kind of soul food.

A very sweet empowering tale. The naration is decent. Definitely worthwile.

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7 people found this helpful