How do famous authors get their start? In the case of Sue Monk Kidd, she was a nurse who took a writing class and something she wrote in class was published in a magazine. This Georgia-born author went on to write the magnificent The Secret Life of Bees, a debut novel that not only stayed on bestseller lists for more than two years, but one that continues as a book group and classroom favorite. Ms. Kidd’s books can be found on the shelves at the Monrovia Library.
If you've never read The Secret Life of Bees, you're in for a treat. With a mixture of sadness and joy, it is the story of the adolescent Lily who, overwhelmed by the loss of her mother and mistreated by her father, runs off with her nanny to a South Carolina town where Lily hopes to discover more about her mother. They journey to the home of 3 beekeeping sisters who embody the power of women and teach Lily to be happy.
Kidd’s second novel is The Mermaid Chair. Jessie Sullivan is a middle-aged woman living a conventional life and long married to Hugh, her dependable husband. Called to help her eccentric mother, who lives on a South Carolina island, Jessie begins to wonder about her own needs, including her need for independence and romance.
The just published The Invention of Wings, chosen in December 2013 as the newest Oprah Book Club title, is historical fiction based on the lives of Sarah Grimke, a 19th century abolitionist, and her slave Hetty Grimke, the human being Sarah’s parents gave to her when Sarah was eleven. Although in real life Hetty is punished with death for the sin of learning to read, Sue Monk Kidd takes the story of the two women and imagines them bonded together for the next thirty years of their lives.