Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Secret Life: Context
Secret Life: Plot Summary
Secret Life: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Secret Life: Themes
Secret Life: Quotes
Secret Life: Characters
Secret Life: Symbols
Secret Life: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Sue Monk Kidd
Historical Context of The Secret Life of Bees
Other Books Related to The Secret Life of Bees
- Full Title: The Secret Life of Bees
- Where Written: Georgia, South Carolina
- When Published: November 8, 2001
- Literary Period: Third-wave feminism fiction
- Genre: Coming-of-age story (Bildungsroman), historical fiction
- Setting: Sylvan, South Carolina, 1964
- Climax: August Boatwright reveals that she knew Lily’s mother
- Antagonist: T. Ray Owens / racism in America
- Point of View: First person (Lily Owens)
Extra Credit for The Secret Life of Bees
The movie, of course: In 2008, The Secret Life of Bees was adapted for the big screen. The film, which starred Queen Latifah and Dakota Fanning, was a modest box-office success, but didn’t get particularly good reviews.
High school classic: If you went to middle school or high school in the last decade, you were probably assigned The Secret Life of Bees for your English class. A recent survey found that Kidd’s novel is one of the ten most commonly taught high school English texts in America, just a notch below To Kill a Mockingbird and 1984.