I read this one a while back, when it was still in hard cover, and it is still one of my top recommendations. This is a beautiful novel, that is sweet, and strong and powerful. I have given a copy to most of my friends, my mother, my mother-in-law, and every response has been “I didn’t want it to end”! I have a lot of respect for the author. She is also the author of The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. I would recommend reading both of these books, especially to women who find the current state of our religion, our society and politics to be very patriarchal in nature. Somehow, we lost the devine feminine; she became buried and manipulated, and was labeled either the virgin or the whore. Yes, I have read The Di Vinci Code (who the heck hasn’t!!) and this theme resonates in that novel as well. I have studied this topic at some length, and if this commentary has at all peeked your interest, The Secret Life of Bees is a good place to start.