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. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. The kid has a tough childhood, grows up and finds him or herself in an unexpected way, and finally overcomes hardship by working to achieve his or her goals.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a breath of fresh air any generation would be glad to take. Lily goes through trials and triumphs all the while trying to find the secrets of her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. In this page-turner we read raw emotions that anyone who’s had family problems can relate too. Lily, a fourteen-year-old girl without a mother, is brought up by her father, T.Ray, and Rosaleen, an African-American servant turned nanny.
This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

Because it deals with the theme of female society, and the power of mothers, I believe this novel is aimed mostly at girls and women.
It's easy to read, and although it is long, I appreciated the length because it was so enjoyable. The two set out on a journey to escape from the law, T.Ray, and the harsh reality of society.
They wind up at the Pepto-Bismol-colored home of May, June, and August Boatwright, three eccentric African American women who keep bees and sell honey with a picture of a black Virgin Mary pasted on the label. She also learns that a family can be anywhere and with anyone, as long as it is with people you love. However, because of her housekeeper, Rosaleen, and the Boatwrights Lily finds that even without a mother she has strong and beautiful women to admire and aspire to be. Not only do they give her someone to look up too, but also they help Lily to find herself and discover what is truly important in life. Teens of any age, race, or social group can enjoy this book without having to analyze each event and happening. Sue Monk Kidd uses creative metaphors and similes that catch your attention and give you the feeling of the actual experience.

The way she can compare the simple pleasure of emptying your bladder to the excitement of sex shows her extreme, yet exact, perception of life’s amazing occurrences. Also, the metaphor on which the entire book is built is how Lily compares the secret life she’s living at the Boatwrights to the unknown life of bees. Sue Monk Kidd successfully writes a beautiful coming -of-age story where Lily not only grows emotionally, but physically and sexually. Most of the characters are lovable and even the ones you don’t like, you still feel sorry for them. There are no slow parts in the novel; it is consistent from beginning to end and it will make you laugh, cry, and because of the amazing detail, you will feel as if you are actually in the novel.

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