Friday, May 8, 2009

The Secret Life of Bees

by Sue Monk Kidd. How do we deal with all the challenges and responsibilities that life offers us? Where does our support come from? Life for Lily Owens seemed to be one with too many challenges and responsibilities and support from only Rosaleen, her nanny. Rosaleen steps into the “mother” position when Lily’s own mother is killed in an almost unimaginable tragedy. Lily’s father doesn’t seem to be concerned that Lily is growing up without her mother; he’s just bitter that he doesn’t have a wife and takes it all out on Lily for the next ten years. Rosaleen gets into trouble with the 1964 racist town leaders and law enforcement so Lily takes the opportunity for her and Rosaleen to escape their lives. Thinking that the town holds information about her mother’s past, Lily plans for them to travel to Tiburon, South Carolina after she sneaks Rosaleen out of her guarded hospital room.

In Tiburon, Lily and Rosaleen are taken in by three sister beekeepers. As Lily learns the beekeeping business and Rosaleen helps in the kitchen, the unfolding of the past and its connections to the present circumstances become painfully intertwined. Only with the love and support of the beekeeping sisters, their friends, Rosaleen, and an unusual Black Madonna statue, Lily makes it through this challenging and transforming time in her life.