Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Secret Life of Bees: a book review

i am a bookworm, always have been. recently, i finished reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (2002), and i thought that i'd stray away from sewing/crafting for a few moments to share my review.

(please keep in mind that i am not a literary critique, and that i personally am color-blind, however it applies in the context of this book :)

The story is set in 1964 South Carolina, during the peak of the Civil Rights movement in the South. Lily, our heroine, is a 14-year-old white young woman who has grown up until the point where we meet her being raised by her neglectful father. the little attention he shows her is harsh and cruel, and Lily spends much of her emotional energy sorting through his words an actions looking for some inkling of love. Lily's mother died when she was a child, her only mother figure a robust black woman named Rosaleen whom her father hired to care for her through her youth.

through a series of escalating events, Lily and Rosaleen run away from home and find themselves on a bee farm several towns away, run by August Boatwright and her two sisters June and May. the Boatwrights take them in and soon Lily is helping with the beekeeping and Rosaleen is helping with the housework.

a few weeks pass, and eventually Lily comes to terms with the fact that she is here because her mother was once at the same place. the story comes to rendition as August reveals the relationship she had with Lily's mother, and Lily sorts out her emotions with the help of the Rosaleen and the Boatwrights.

the story has an episodic plot, the climax coming very close to the end of the book, and finishing it only left me sad to leave the characters behind. i've left out some of the best parts such that this would not be a spoiler for you who would like to read it, but in the end, Lily finds the love she had been searching for through her whole life.

i think now i need to get the movie added to the top of my netflix queue...


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