I don’t know what it was with this book, but I think I hated it. And I hate that I am writing this. The front cover brags: “The Number One New York Times Bestseller” and I couldn’t read it. I mean, I read it, almost reached the final page and then realised that I’d already wasted so much time with this book and my care factor was zero… negative, if that’s possible. So, with ten pages left to go, I quit. I just tossed the book aside and surrendered myself to the fact that I really didn’t mind what these characters did with their lives, whether the protagonist ever returned to her estranged husband, Hugh; whether Brother Thomas remained a Brother or whether he returned to the world with a fresh perspective. I still can’t quite believe that I was not at all invested in any part of the reading of this novel. How can this happen?
I consider myself an extremely patient reader. I love reading for such a wide range of reasons that it’s incredibly unlikely that I will ever NOT finish a book… and I’m usually very trusting of writers, I give myself over to them and allow them to lead me on all sorts of journeys into all sorts of situations and I love it. Well, usually I love it. This time, not so much.
So, my question now is: Do I read The Secret Life of Bees or do I just decide that Sue Monk Kidd and I are never going to be best buddies?