Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees might have been written with the calculation of getting chosen for Oprah's Book Club.
So Bees is another entry in the long tradition of books and movies about whites being nurtured and schooled by the example of the black underling. I hope so, because adapter-director Gina Prince-Bythewood has made an honorable movie, wonderfully attentive to the skills of its excellent cast, that turned this devout cynic into a believer. August (Queen Latifah), who runs the bee farm, is the matriarch of the clan, beaming wisdom and common sense to a child voracious for any human touch. Sue Monk Kidd’s ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice.
Gathering my inspiration from June Boatwright, I wanted to find some Gospel selections for the cello.  I luckily found the beautiful and haunting Sacred Music for Cello by Anne Martindale Williams.
Ahhhh, SOUL FOOD, cooked with love the way Rosaleen and the Boatwright sisters prepared their meals. Which of the three sisters, May, June or August, is your favorite?  Discuss each sister’s relationship with Lily.


How did you feel about Lily’s relationship with Zach?  Were you rooting for Lily and Zach?  Were you uncomfortable?  What realizations did Lily come to as a result of this relationship? Discuss The Daughters of Mary.  What was the draw of the Black Madonna?  What did she represent to the group?  Did you find the religious symbolism offensive?  Did you understand their need for the Black Madonna?
May (Brit actress Sophie Okonedo) has long been in mourning for her dead twin sister April. In the book Lily daydreams of meeting her mother Deborah in heaven; and after 10,000 years telling Lily she was not to blame for her death, Deborah would spend the next 10,000 fixing the girl's ratty hair. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. I wanted to recreate my favorite scene, so I decorated with lots of blue and white crepe paper, flowers, colored Christmas lights and Lily’s big blue hat.
Gone With the Wind?) The novel is set in rural South Carolina in 1964, which is just about the time it would have automatically been turned into an Oscar-nominated movie. Her emotions are deep and constantly near the surface; she is given to weeping and keening when she sees the pain of others.


There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household.
With her high forehead, Afro coiffure and commanding hauteur, she is a preview of militant black women like Kathleen Cleaver and Angela Davis — and the least maternal of the Boatwright brood. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love—a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.
Can it find an audience to nurture in the old, noble, now-discredited Hollywood traditions? Lily wants to die too; and when she runs away and discovers the Caribbean-pink house of the three Boatwright sisters, it's as if she's died and gone to heaven.



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