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The Secret Life of Bees (Penguin Drop Caps) Hardcover – May 7, 2013
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Winner of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show, organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers & Books
Winner of the 2014 Type Directors Club Communication Design Award
Praise for Penguin Drop Caps:
"[Penguin Drop Caps] convey a sense of nostalgia for the tactility and aesthetic power of a physical book and for a centuries-old tradition of beautiful lettering."
“Vibrant, minimalist new typographic covers…. Bonus points for the heartening gender balance of the initial selections.”
—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
"The Penguin Drop Caps series is a great example of the power of design. Why buy these particular classics when there are less expensive, even free editions of Great Expectations? Because they’re beautiful objects. Paul Buckley and Jessica Hische’s fresh approach to the literary classics reduces the design down to typography and color. Each cover is foil-stamped with a cleverly illustrated letterform that reveals an element of the story. Jane Austen’s A (Pride and Prejudice) is formed by opulent peacock feathers and Charlotte Bronte’s B (Jane Eyre) is surrounded by flames. The complete set forms a rainbow spectrum prettier than anything else on your bookshelf."
—Rex Bonomelli, The New York Times
"Classic reads in stunning covers—your book club will be dying."
About the Author
Sue Monk Kidd is the award-winning and bestselling author of the novels The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair, the memoirs When the Heart Waits, The Dance of the Dissident, and Traveling with Pomegranates, which she wrote with her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor, as well as Firstlight, a collection of her early writings. She lives on an island off the coast of Florida with her husband.
Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator, typographer, and web designer. She currently serves on the Type Directors Club board of directors, has been named a Forbes Magazine "30 under 30" in art and design as well as an ADC Young Gun and one of Print Magazine’s "New Visual Artists". She has designed for Wes Anderson, McSweeney's, Tiffany & Co, Penguin Books and many others. She resides primarily in San Francisco, occasionally in Brooklyn.
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On the way she argues with the town's worst racist, spits on his boot and is jailed. Lily Owens decides this is the moment to jail-bust Rosaleen and run away from home. They land up as fugitives in Tumaron with three sisters who have a connection with Lily's mother. Lily starts her journey towards forgiving herself, her mother and experiencing growing up in a loving household.
This book is memorable in several ways: Sue Monk Kidd's original, quirky, highly perceptive portrayal of life in the deep south; the serious issues of racism and religion are shown - not in the usual hackneyed way, but with an irreverence and humour that made me smile time and again. Picture a colourful group of eccentric sisters with a love for life, wearing flamboyant hats, gospel singing and dancing in a canga line; the story is poignant and the characters become complex, strong and wise. I enjoyed reading this story and once started had to see where it would lead.
One of the main messages of The Secret Life of Bees is that sometimes you must leave home to find home. Lilly knew that there was more to her mother’s past than what she had been told, and a twist of fate helped her find the answers she needed. She found protection from her abusive father with three surrogate mothers. The Secret Life of Bees is also about learning from your mistakes and accepting your flaws. Lilly learned that she accidentally killed her mother when she tried to hand a gun to her for protection from T Ray. She was stunned that she was capable of something like that and regarded herself as a horrible person. It took her a long time to come to terms with her actions and love herself. Finally, the most prevalent theme in the book is the importance of having love and compassion in your life. In addition to finding a place where she felt like she belonged, she also found loving home. This is not something she had experienced before as her father was abusive. When she found August, May, and June, she felt comforted and appreciated. She realized that one of the things that any human needs to grow and flourish is a nurturing family.
The Secret Life of Bees is a book that you will not want to put down. The story is intriguing because it captures the essence of what human beings desire to have- love, appreciation, and respect. The story is told from a young girl’s point of view and describes her journey to uncover her mother’s past. It is engaging because the reader does not understand all the details of her mother’s past until the end of the book, so it leaves the reader with a desire to uncover the mystery. I truly enjoyed this book and was a little sad when it was done. I highly recommend this amazing novel to everyone!