Shared booklist

BKLYN BookMatch - If you enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees, try these!

This list was created by a librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library for a reader. Would you like your own personal list of reading suggestions? Visit Bklyn BookMatch, here:

15 items

Queen sugar

Natalie Baszile. |

A mother-daughter story of reinvention-about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana. Why exactly Charley Bordelon's late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles. They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that's mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man's business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart.

The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat

Edward Kelsey Moore. |

Forging a friendship at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Odette, Clarice and Barbara Jean meet regularly at the first diner owned by black proprietors in their Indiana city and are watched throughout the years by a big-hearted man who observes their struggles with school, marriage, parenthood and beyond.

Telling the bees

Peggy Hesketh. |

A third-generation beekeeper who relates better to the constant companions in his hives than most people must come to terms with the loss of his long-time friend, Claire, who was killed during a burglary gone awry.

The homecoming of Samuel Lake

Jenny Wingfield. |

The rigid moral codes held by devoted mid-19th-century preacher Samuel Lake are called into question when his 12-year-old daughter and his neighbors hide a young boy from his abusive father, a man who lashes out at the community when he learns about the deception.


by Dori Sanders. |

After her father dies within hours of being married to a white woman, a ten-year-old black girl learns with her new mother to overcome grief and to adjust to a new place in their rural black South Carolina community.

Fried green tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Fannie Flagg. |

Mrs. Threadgoode's tale of two high-spirited women of the 1930s, Idgie and Ruth, helps Evelyn, a 1980s woman in a sad slump of middle age, to begin to rejuvenate her own life.

The taste of apple seeds

Katharina Hagena ; translated by Jamie Bulloch. |

When Iris unexpectedly inherits her grandmother's house in the country, she also inherits the painful memories that live there. Iris gives herself a one-week stay at the old house, after which she'll make a decision: keep it, or sell it. The choice is not so simple, though, for her grandmother's cottage is an enchanting place where currant jam tastes of tears, sparks fly from fingertips, love's embrace makes apple trees blossom, and the darkest family secrets never stay buried. As Iris moves in and out of the flicker between remembrance and forgetting, she chances upon a forgotten childhood friend who could become more.

The help

Kathryn Stockett. |

Limited and persecuted by racial divides in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, three women, including an African-American maid, her sassy and chronically unemployed friend, and a recently graduated white woman, team up for a clandestine project.

Friendship cake

Lynne Hinton. |

Five women, working together to create a church cookbook, share their passions, loves, and losses: including pastor Charlotte Stewart, who is suffering a crisis in faith; widow Margaret, the town confidante; and Jessie, the only African American in an all-white church.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Beth Hoffman. |

For years, 12-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille-the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. But when Camille is hit by a truck and killed, CeeCee is left to fend for herself. To the rescue comes her previously unknown great-aunt from Savannah, Tootie Caldwell, who whirls CeeCee into her world of female friendship, strong women, wacky humor, and good old-fashioned heart. "Steel Magnolias" meets "The Help" in this Southern debut novel sparkling with humor, heart, and feminine wisdom. Laugh-out-loud funny, Hoffman's charming work offers the story of a young girl who loses one mother and finds many others.

Right as rain

Bev Marshall. |

Living and working side-by-side on the rural Southern farm belonging to their white employers, Tee Wee and Icey forge a bond based on their shared servitude and their equally painful pasts.

Prayers for sale

Sandra Dallas. |

Drawn to the newly married seventeen-year-old Nit Spindle, who has moved to their small mountain Colorado town to escape the ravages of the Great Depression, octogenarian Hennie Comfort forges a friendship with the young woman based on shared hardships and secrets.

Whistling past the graveyard

Susan Crandall. |

Fleeing her strict grandmother's home in 1963 Mississippi, 9-year-old Starla Claudelle becomes an unlikely companion to an African-American woman at whose side she learns harsh lessons about period segregation and family. By the RITA-winning author of Back Roads.

Wishing for snow

Minrose Gwin. |

Delves into the poems, letters, and newspaper clippings that Erin Pitner left behind after her death, revealing a Southern family and the tragic figure at its center--and a daughter's determination to find the mother she never knew.