Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Secret Life of Bees - Book Review

The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd
Originally Published by Penguin 2003
This edition published by Penguin 2008
Movie released 2008

An excellent book. I have not yet seen the movie, but now I do want to find the DVD and watch it. I love coming of age movies.

This is the story of Lily Owens, a teenager on a peach farm in South Carolina in 1964. Lily's mother died when she was young and her father is abusive. Lily has been raised by the black housekeeper, Rosaleen. One day Rosaleen gets beaten up by some white men while she is going into town to register to vote. Lily decides that she must save Rosaleen, so she breaks Rosaleen out of jail and they skip town. They end up in Tiburon, South Carolina. Lily choses this town on the basis of a picture she found in her dead mothers belongings. It turns out to be the perfect place for Lily to find the truth about her mother and to find herself.

There is plenty of tension and conflict - this is the time of the civil rights movement when the blacks have finally won the right to vote, and the right to attend desegregated schools. What is unusal is for a white girl to be living with a family of black women, even if they are all bee keepers and honey sellers.

This was an excellent story and I read it in just 3 hours. I really enjoyed it.

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