If you have been craving some warm, weather then imagine yourself in South Carolina, on a honey bee farm with a warm loving family of African American women and you have the basic plot line of “The Secret Life of Bees.”
“The Secret Life of Bees” is the story of a fourteen-year-old white girl named Lily Owen who runs away from her abusive father with her black nanny Roasaleen and finds safe haven in the large pink house owned by three African American women.
The story covers a wide spectrum of ideas about life and how people treat one another. Topics such as racism, feminism, and finding where one’s home is are greatly explored, leaving the reader feeling more whole yet entirely sad after finishing the book.
Throughout the story Lily learns to be a strong girl who follows her own path on how she views other people, black or white, and she works to overcome different social stigmas that are constantly being placed on the ones she calls family.
Although “The Secret Life of Bees” was written over 10 years ago by Sue Monk Kidd, the issues of racism that are seen in the stories setting of 1964 are still an issue in today’s time. The messages that the book can give about life are ones that anyone could benefit from.
In addition to the vague ideas that undercurrent the entire book, there is a ton of amazing imagery in describing the south and what surrounds Lily.
Whether Kidd is creating an image of the way the peach trees sway in the moonlight breeze or the happiness Lily feels when she smells pancakes cooking on the stove, Kidd delivers every word with a casual ease, which can bring the reader right into the scene.
Not only is the book wonderful unto itself, a movie was made in 2008 starring Dakota Fanning as Lily. The movie stays true to the book and leaves the viewer with a similar wholesome feeling and a desire to have some honey.