Book review: The Secret Life of Bees

Well hello to you my reader chums! There's nothing better than thinking 'what an uplifting and moving read' when you finish a book, and these were my exact thoughts on 'The Secret Life of Bees'. I picked this novel up on my recent trip to Brighton. Over the past week or so, it has been the book to keep me fully focused on my daily short commute and I've loved every word of it.

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Here are my thoughts on the book, The Secret Life of Bees.

The secret life of bees book review

Plot line

The blurb follows the story of Lily. Lily has grown up believing she killed her mother at the age of four and now at 14, constantly yearns for her mother's love and forgiveness. Lily lives on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh father and only friend Rosaleen, the black servant. On one summer afternoon racial tension explodes and Rosaleen is beaten and arrested. Lily is then compelled to act and fight for justice - and the story leads on with the pair following a trail from the woman who died 10 years before. Lily finds sanctuary in a home of three beekeeping sisters, and that's where her new journey begins.

It's one of those addictive storylines, that use beautifully written descriptions of each moment to hook you in. Although there are devastating moments, the whole novel vibe is very much uplifting and powerful in so many different ways.


With books, one of my favourite things to talk about is the characters, as I always gravitate towards certain characters throughout. The entire story is told in the first person by protagonist Lily, which is one of my favourite ways of narration. Through Lily's story, you're able to connect with every single emotion she goes through, the bad and the good. I really connected with Lily as a character because although she lives with plenty of guilt surrounding her mother, she experiences pretty normal teenage girls thoughts, like I did at her age. 

I also really liked the character of Rosaleen and how she was portrayed. Rosaleen was hired to be essentially a servant to Lily when her mum died and ordered to help her out with anything she needs, but I see her as fitting in with the mother role. She's the only female role model figure Lily had in the past decade, and their up and down relationship, is similar to what a mother daughter one could be like. On the flip side, the father is a cruel character and described in a negative light. Lily never calls him Dad and you can see why considering the way he treats her.

 The other major players are the sisters in the bee house August, May and June. When Lily meets and stays with them, the flourishing relationship is beautiful to read, especially between her and August. Although her past was dark, by being in the bee house and surrounded by these lovely ladies opens a positive new chapter in Lily's life, and I loved reading the journey.

The secret life of bees book review


The structure is pretty simple in this book, and I think this is why it's such a smooth read. It goes from chapter to chapter, and is broken up into the next chapter when most appropriate. By having those breaks, it gives you a smooth transition into the next tale of the story, and it follows on pretty well. As I mentioned, it's written in the first person by Lily and really gives insight into Lily's feelings and her story. Although this is told beautifully by Lily, I would have loved to of heard Rosaleen's side of the tale.


The ending of this book is a proper full-circle moment, and finishes in an uplifting way. I'm not going to give anything away, and although it's not climatic in any light, it is positive, happy and everything you wish the ending to be when you read this book.

The secret life of bees book review

Overall, I absolutely loved this novel and would recommend it to every bookworm. It explores racial injustice, religion, the importance of sisterhood, family and bees. There are so many topics covered, a lot of beautiful bonds to discover and a story told like no other. If you're in the market for a moving read and learning a lot more about bees, this is the book for you.

I hope you liked this book review. Have you read The Secret Life of Bees?

Thank you for reading <3


  1. I really liked the movie but I've never read the book before! Lovely review, Della ! 😊

    Shirley |

    1. Thank you lovely! I want to watch the film now xx

  2. I haven't read the book, but the movie was lovely. Will definitely check out the book!

    1. I need to watch it! I hope you like the book xx

  3. I love the plot line to this story! Sounds like such a good read!!

  4. Heard so many things about this book. Will have to give it a go once I finish the ones I have on the go!


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