There are moments of real beauty, such as when Lily contemplates life on the banks of a river, following the drowning death of one of the principal characters. This entry was posted in Lending Insight and tagged Civil Rights, Coming of Age, Good Death, Racism, Southern Literature, Sue Monk Kidd, Suicide, The Secret Life of Bees. The Secret Life of BeesThe Secret Life of Bees focuses on Lily Owens, a teenage girl living during the time of the Civil Rights Act, who has had to carry around the burden of accidentally killing her mother at the age of four. In Sue Monk Kidd’s critically acclaimed first novel The Secret Life of Bees, her protagonist, Lily Owens, does so in the midst of the Deep South’s Civil Rights revolt. In her childhood she would imagine them swarming into her room and filling the place with the whirring of their wings.
Lily is stuck living with T-Ray her abusive father who does not love or show any respect for Lily. The memory of her mother’s death, which she witnessed, and may have even inadvertently played a part in, is indelibly printed in her mind. On the road with Rosaleen, they find another house of bees, or, more accurately, a house of bee-keepers: three black women who are largely shunned by the racist white town, and who live, and worship, in highly unconventional ways. As is typical in a coming-of-age story, the initial purpose of Lily’s quest, to find the truth about her parents, eventually becomes secondary to her own personal mission of gaining maturity and the ability to live life on her own terms.
After getting thrown in jail for insulting white men, Lily breaks them free and they set off on their journey to find out about her mother's past.

She knows that there is more to the world than the limited confines of her small South Carolina town, with its bigoted locals, and her own abusive and perpetually angry father T. There is something in Lily’s voice, a fierceness in her character and in her willingness to speak the truth, whatever she might perceive it to be, that is refreshing and original.
They end up in Tiburon, South Carolina and stay with the Southern black beekeeping Boatwright sisters, where Lily finds out how it feels to be part of a real family. It takes some time for Lily to go right out and ask them if the women knew her mother, but, when she finally does, it makes for a fascinating and uplifting. She receives much needed comfort from her warm and protective black nanny, Rosaleen, who effectively raised her since her mother’s death.
Often times, this book strains both credibility, and the willingness of the reader to engage in what many would consider out-and-out schmaltz.
Though, as is often the case anyways, you might have to tell and remind yourself to enjoy it in the first place.
Because the story took place during the Civil Rights Act, Sue Monk Kidd (author) also had the intent of showing the struggles African Americans when through to gain freedom and rights during that time period.In the book The Secret Life of Bees, a lot more history was given about the Boatwright sisters and Deborah Fontanel Owens.
But, after Rosaleen registers to vote, and sets off to exercise her franchise for the first time, she is waylaid by some of the racist townsfolk, and is subsequently imprisoned for assault. But there is always emotional intelligence behind the writing, and, even if the story of a white outcast finding a home among accepting black women sounds a little too perfect, as does the outright villainy of her father T.

The book also when into a lot more detail and added events to help better enforce the theme of the book, which was equality. The movie spent more time discussing Lily's life with her father and working on the peach farm that he owned.These changes were made because books are able to go into more detail to give the reader an image in their head of what is happening in the book. Then she busts Rosaleen out of prison, and together they flee into the Carolina hinterlands on the trail of Lily’s mother, based on one cryptic clue scrawled on the back of a framed picture of the Black Madonna, which has hung in Lily’s house since her earliest memories, and which she knows to be one of her mother’s last possessions.
If all of the details from the book were added to the movie, the movie would have been too long and dragged out.I prefered the book over the movie because I liked the detail that the book was able to go into about the Boatwright sisters and the history of Black Mary (the statue in the Boatwright house that they prayed to).
With the deatils given I was able to have a vivid image of the goings-on in the book while reading which kept me interested and wanting to read more.The setting in the movie including the scenery and the costumes gave the story a realistic feel because it set the scene for South Carolina during the late 1960s, when the story takes place. In particular the honey house and the bee hives and equipment were perfect to show the business of the Boatwright sisters. Also the scenes showing racial prejudice downtown were very well executed because you were able to clearly see the division between blacks and whites.

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