Tuesday 20 September 2011
The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
This is another second hand purchase which is why I managed to pick up the American edition. I actually prefer the American cover to the British for a change. I wanted to read this for a while now and mainly because of the bees than the actual main plot. I love bees. If I could keep bees in Glasgow I would. Every spring I buy my mum something for her garden and usually I pick out something that will attract the bees (not wasps though as they are the sum of all evil).
I found this book to be a little slow starting at first. I found it difficult to place Lily's age and in the first 50 pages this was a little off putting as it's written entirely from her point of view. Most of the time she came across as a girl much younger than 14 and other times (rare times) she appeared much older. I could see that would more than likely be a result of her unhappy childhood but it was a little strange at times. It took a while but Lily did eventually grow on me. Her immaturity annoyed me at the start but eventually all I wanted was for her to have some happiness in her life. Something she discovered when she found the three sisters.
I did like Rosaleen too but I didn't always like the way she was portrayed. The author couldn't seem to make her mind up as to whether she was a strong or week character. One minute she is fighting for her rights and not caring what anyone thinks. The next she is following Lily around like a puppy dog and allowing her to speak for her. The three sisters on the other hand I liked instantly. Even June who came across as a little spiteful at times.
I saw this book as a lovely story of friendship, family and discovery. I think the ending was a little too perfect but for once I could let that go. I think I would have been upset had it ended any other way. It did mean I couldn't really take the book seriously as a whole but I still enjoyed it. By the time it ended it was a feel good story. I think we all need one of those every now and then.
As for the film I haven't seen it yet and I now don't think I will. I just can't see Dakota Fanning in the role of Lily. The description of Lily's appearance alone makes her all wrong. I also can't see Queen Latifah and Alicia Keyes in the roles of August and June. I watched a clipping of the film and it just didn't feel right.
A good book though, I recommend it if you need something light with a fluffy ending.