The Secret Life of Bees is the story of Lily Owens, a girl who has shaped her life around one devastating memorythe afternoon her mother was killed, when Lily was four. Besides her harsh and unyielding father, Lilys only real companion is Rosaleen, a tender, but fierce-hearted black woman who cooks, cleans and acts as her "stand-in mother."
Set in 1964 in South Carolina, a place and time of seething racial divides, violence explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten. Lily is desperate, not only to save Rosaleen, but to flee from a life she can no longer endure. Calling upon her colorful wits and youthful daring, she breaks Rosaleen out of jail and the two escape, into what quickly becomes Lilys quest for the truth about her mothers life.
They are taken in by three black, bee-keeping sisters, May, June, and August, and Lily is consumed by their secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women. Lilys journey is one of painful secrets and shattering betrayals but that ultimately helps her find the thing her heart longs for most.
The Secret Life Of Bees allows us into a world apartin a novel whose strong, irresistible voice catches us up and doesnt let go. The Secret Life Of Bees is a mesmerizing novel about women with extraordinary gifts coping with loss and finding forgiveness and especially, learning to forgive themselves.
At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin. I watched their wings shining like bits of chrome in the dark and felt the longing build in my chest. The way those bees flew, not even looking for a flower, just flying for the feel of the wind, split my heart down its seam.
During the day I heard them tunneling through the walls of my bedroom, sounding like a radio tuned to static in the next room, and I imagined them in there turning the walls into honeycombs, with honey seeping out for me to taste.
The bees came the summer of 1964, the summer I turned fourteen and my life went spinning off into a whole new orbit, and I mean whole new orbit. Looking back on it now, I want to say the bees were sent to me. I want to say they showed up like the angel Gabriel appearing to the Virgin Mary, setting ...
About The Book
August said, "Listen to me now, Lily. I'm going to tell you something I want you always to remember, all right?"
Her face had grown serious. Intent. Her eyes did not blink.
"All right," I said, and I felt something electric slide down my spine.
"Our Lady is not some magical being out there somewhere, like a fairy godmother. She's not the statue in the parlor. She's something inside of you. Do you understand what I'm telling you?"
"Our Lady is inside me," I repeated, not sure I did.
"You have to find a mother inside yourself. We all do. Even if we already have a mother, we still have to find this part of ourselves inside."
Set in the American South in 1964, the year of the Civil Rights ...
This is a gentle tale brimming over with homespun wisdom that should have wide appeal for women everywhere, but especially for teens and young adults living in the USA.
It would also make good background reading for people wishing to understand more about the US civil rights movement in the 1960s – not from the viewpoint of the movers and shakers, but from the perspective of those who, through their quiet everyday actions worked to change things from the bottom up.
This would be a great gift for mothers to share with their daughters, and vice versa – and to discuss in book clubs, especially those that span generational boundaries.
If you liked The Secret Life of Bees, try these:
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A poignant and often darkly funny story of a resourceful seven-year-old growing up in an isolated house in Bond Brook, Maine.
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