The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd


In North Carolina 1964, Lily Melissa Owens lives on a peach farm with her father, T. Ray. T. Ray is abusive to Lily, and does not take care of her like he should. Lily’s mother died when she was young from a gunshot that Lily believed she shot. Lily’s entire life has been shaped around her killing her mother, so when her black stand in mother Rosaleen insults three of the town’s most racist people, Lily and Rosaleen decide to run away to Tiburon, South Carolina. Lily believes this town holds the secrets about her mother that she has been looking for her entire life. They get taken in by black beekeeper sisters who show Lily how to take care of bees and teach her about the Black Madonna who watches over their house. Lily feels like their house has a connection to her mother, and she knows she will need to tell them the truth of why she is at their house. Lily also knows that she can’t stay there forever and eventually T. Ray will find her.

I loved how this story was written through Lily’s point of view as she told the reader her story. I also loved how there was a mix of love, sadness, mystery, and happiness throughout the story which kept me hooked. It was really sad though in some parts because it was set during the Civil Rights Movement, so some characters, like Rosaleen, were treated poorly by others. Overall, this is a great story that kept me interested the entire time and I would recommend it to anyone.


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