Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

I never thought I would find this novel an interesting read. For one, I bought this on sale which made me doubt the quality of its plot. But I was never the type who would judge a novel by how a writer moves within the plot. Everytime I read a book, I have two grand expectations:
  1. I expect the writer to write in an interesting manner (crisp and smart writing, that is) without compromising the main goal of the plot; and 
  2. I expect the writer to eventually inspire me via his/her writing style and the superbness of the novel's message.

With her bestseller novel The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd fulfilled my parameters.

Her writing style is admirable I was inspired until the last page of the novel. As I leaf  through the pages, the element of surprise was constantly there. The story was set in South Carolina in 1964, but Kidd managed to strike a balance between country style writing* and the contemporary stuff. And of course, the bees! It was very creative of Kidd to let these honey makers contribute so much to the story. I have not seen the film version but, come hell or high water, I will.

And with # 2, the message was crystal clear. No matter where or how you search for or understand your own biological mother, you can always find one in strangers. The sense of belonging respects no color or race. I think the classic issue of racial discrimination only plays a supporting role in this novel. Plus, the fact that Lilly Owens (14-year-old strong girl) is undergoing the usual enemies of adolescence only makes the novel a page-turner.

*If there's country music, then let there be country style writing too. LOL!

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