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The Secret Life of Bees, and check out The Secret Life of Bees on Wikipedia, Youtube, Google News, Google Books, and Twitter on Digplanet.
Set in Sylvan, South Carolina, in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of a 14-year-old white girl, Lily Melissa Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. Lily attempts to tell August the truth but is interrupted by Zach, who takes her for a honey run.
Rosaleen Daise: the African American maid of Lily's household and other neighbors, also acts as Lily's protector and surrogate mother.
August Boatwright: the eldest of the Boatwright sisters, a beekeeper, a well-respected businesswoman in the community. The Daughters of Mary: Cressie, Queenie and her daughter Violet, Lunelle, Mabelee, and Sugar-Girl who attends with her husband, Otis, the one man of the group.
The book was adapted in to a film in 2008, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and produced by Will Smith, with Jada Pinkett Smith, as executive producer. The New York Times–bestselling memoir of pilgrimage and metamorphosis by the author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings (Viking, January 2014) and her daughterSue Monk Kidd has touched the hearts of millions of readers with her beloved novels and acclaimed nonfiction.
With a new home and a new family for the time being, Lily learns more about the Black Madonna honey that the sisters make. In that time, Zach is freed from jail with no charges, and black cloth is draped over the beehives to symbolize the mourning. She had a twin sister, April, who died when she was younger, and as a result of April's death she is super sensitive.
Although the novel does include the underlying theme of the civil rights movement, USA Today felt the novel focused more on Lily's journey towards "self-acceptance, faith and freedom".
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Now, in this wise and engrossing dual memoir, she and her daughter, Ann, chronicle their travels together through Greece and France at a time when each was on a quest to redefine herself and rediscover each other.As Sue struggles to enlarge a vision of swarming bees into a novel, and Ann ponders the classic question of what to do with her life, this modern-day Demeter and Persephone explore an array of inspiring figures and sacred sites.
She begins working as August's bee keeping apprentice to repay her for her kindness, while Rosaleen works around the house.
Zach gets arrested after one of his friends, who they had met at the store, throws a coke bottle at a white man and none of them will tell who did it.
May's suicide letter is found and in it she says, "It's my time to die, and it's your time to live.

The novel was originally published in 2001, and has since sold more than six million copies and has been published in 35 countries. It won the 2004 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards (Paperback), and was nominated for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction.
Lily finds out that May had a twin sister, April, who committed suicide with their father's shotgun when they were younger.[1] She watches June's ongoing flirtations with, and refusals of marriage to, her boyfriend Neil. Both Lily and Zach find their goals nearly impossible to meet but still encourage each other to attempt them. It also maintained its position on the New York Times best seller list for two and a half years.[citation needed] In 2004, it was named the "Book Sense Paperback of the Year".
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Zach wants to be the "ass-busting lawyer", which means he would be the first black lawyer in the area.[3] Lily wants to be a short story writer.
She eventually decided to leave him permanently and returned to their house to collect Lily. It is the undisclosed reason I’ve come to theother side of the world with my daughter. Then, after Rosaleen is arrested for pouring her bottle of "snuff juice" on three white men, Lily breaks her out of the hospital and they decide to leave town. They hold service at their house which they call "The Daughters of Mary." They keep a statue of "Black Mary", or "our lady of chains", which was actually a figurehead from the bow of an ancient ship, and August tells the story of how a man by the name of Obadiah, who was a slave, found this figure.
The secret does not stay hidden for long and May becomes catatonic with depression.[4] May leaves the house and August, June, Lily and Rosaleen find her lying dead in the river with a rock on her chest, an apparent suicide. Life begins to turn back to normal after a time of grieving, bringing the Boatwright house back together. They begin hitch-hiking toward Tiburon, SC, a place written on the back of an image of the Virgin Mary as a black woman, which Deborah, her mother, had owned.
The slaves thought that God had answered their prayers asking for rescue, and "to send them consolation" and "to send them freedom".[2] It gave them hope, and the figure had been passed down for generations. There, they buy lunch at a general store, and Lily recognizes a picture of the same "Black Mary" but on the side of a jar of honey. After a brief struggle, the gun fell to the floor, which Lily picked up and the gun accidentally discharged, killing Deborah. Our trip to Greece began as a birthday present to myself and a collegegraduation gift to Ann.

Ray leaves the Boatwright house, Lily asks him what really happened the day her mother died.
The extravagant idea popped into myhead six months earlier as the realization of turning fifty set in andI felt for the first time the overtures of an ending.Those were the days I stood before the bathroom mirror examiningnew lines and sags around my eyes and mouth like a seismologiststudying unstable tectonic plates.
They are introduced to the Boatwright sisters, the makers of the honey: August, May, and June, who are all black. I didn’t understand whyI was responding to the prospect of aging with such shallownessand dread, only that there had to be more to it than the etchingsof time on my skin. In an act of boldnessor recklessness, or some perfect combination thereof, my husband,Sandy, and I put our house on the market and moved toCharleston, where we subsisted in a minuscule one- bedroom apartmentwhile searching for this magical and necessary place. I neversaid out loud that I thought it was mandatory for my soul and my creative life (how could I explain that?), but I assure you, I wasthinking it.I felt like my writing had gone to seed. I felt I’d come tosome conclusion in my creative life and now something new wantedto break through. I stopped the car by a FOR SALE sign on an emptylot, climbed out and gazed at an expanse of waving spartina grasswith a tidal creek curling through it. The mudflatsglinted with oyster shells and egrets floated down to them likeplumes of smoke. I belong to this place.Perhaps living here, my creative life would crack open like one ofthose oyster shells. I carriedit, blank and unchristened, to the lot beside the salt marshwhere we now planned to build our house.
I sat on a faded beachtowel beneath a palmetto palm and began making a list of 100Things to Do Before I Die. I turned the page.Finally, I began to write about becoming an older woman andthe trepidation it stirred. I wrote about the raw, unsettled feelingscoursing through me, the need to divest and relocate, the urge toradically simplify and distill life into a new, unknown meaning.And why, I asked myself, had I begun to think for the first timeabout my own mortality?

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