Friday, May 24, 2013

The book in which absolutely nothing happens

The Secret Life of Bees
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Okay, maybe absolutely nothing is a bit of an exaggeration, but very little happens, and it takes a while to do so. I saw the movie years ago and thought it was okay. I looked up who played T. Ray, and it turns out it's Paul Bettany, whom I love, and somehow, he was totally unmemorable in the movie. Yup, that pretty much sums things up.

This is one of those books with a lesson to impart, but your hand is held during the imparting, which drives me bananas! I want to shout: just tell me what you'd like me to take away! Stop leading me in one direction or another and JUST.GET.THERE!

Furthermore, there's almost no reconciliation at the end of the book. T. Ray just leaves Lily at August's house. Um, what? He's supposed to be the bad guy, and he hardly makes an appearance at all. He's mean and battling a lot of his own demons, but in terms of fictional bad guys, he's really not so much.

Also, each chapter begins with a quote about bee keeping from a (presumably) expert source on the subject. It gets a little tedious.

However, that being said, Monk Kidd's actual writing is quite lovely. She is clearly a skilled writer in terms of language usage. Unfortunately, this book did so little for me that I'm unlikely to pick up anything else of hers.

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