This has happened to me on several occasions. The first was when my teacher gave us a list of over one hundred books and told us to pick one for summer reading. I chose “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd.
And honestly, it was one of the best books I have ever read.
It’s not made for teens by any measure but the amount that I was able to connect to the character and really learn about the time period and the circumstances of the rural south was enlightening for me. It was especially interesting for me to read because my mother is from Louisiana, so whenever I get a chance to read a book about what my family has gone through in the past, it is always interesting. I encourage all of you to read books that could have been applicable to your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so forth but are not necessarily applicable to you. You will be surprised at both how much has changed and how much has remained the same.
This story is about a teen aged girl named Lily living in the south with only an abusive father as a parent and her housekeeper, Rosalie. Lilly is also living with the guilt about how her mother died. In these circumstances, Lilly goes on a journey to find out about her past and her mother. Along the way she meets three very special ladies who help her find who she really is and what happened to her mother in years past. People say that finishing a good book is like loosing a good friend. I found a friend in Lilly and the “Secret Life of Bees” and have no doubt that you will too. After I finished this book, I passed it onto both my mom and my dad who both thoroughly enjoyed it.
This is the summary from Sue Monk Kidd's website (there are no spoilers)!
Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh, unyielding father,
Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating, blurred
memory--the afternoon her mother was killed, when Lily was four. Since then, her
only real companion has been the fierce-hearted, and sometimes just fierce,
black woman Rosaleen, who acts as her "stand-in mother."
insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily knows it's time to spring
them both free. They take off in the only direction Lily can think of, toward a
town called Tiburon, South Carolina--a name she found on the back of a picture
amid the few possessions left by her mother.
There they are taken in by an
eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters named May, June, and August. Lily
thinks of them as the calendar sisters and enters their mesmerizing secret world
of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of
strong, wise women. Maternal loss and betrayal, guilt and forgiveness entwine in
a story that leads Lily to the single thing her heart longs for most.
Secret Life of Bees has a rare wisdom about life--about mothers and daughters
and the women in our lives who become our true mothers. A remarkable story about
the divine power of women and the transforming power of love, this is a stunning
debut whose rich, assured, irresistible voice gathers us up and doesn't let go,
not for a moment. It is the kind of novel that women share with each other and
that mothers will hand down to their daughters for years to come.
It has become a feature film with Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifa within the past year. I think that the book to movie transition for this story was absolutely fantastic. The only significant piece of the book that was left out of the movie was the part about their religion. Even though it was most definitely not my favorite part of the book, I thought that this part gave the story much more depth and meaning for Lilly and really defined the lives of the sisters in the book. Whether you decide to read the book or go rent the movie, the story of Lilly and “The Secret Life of Bees” is fantastic and should not be ignored.
This summer, I have been assigned to read "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. I have not started it yet, but from what I hear from my friends, it is a great book. One of my best friends(shout out to Kat) said that it is one of her favorite books. All that I know about the book so far is that it is about the Holocaust and is narrated by death (which sounds not only creepy but interesting). I will be sure to post a review about it with more details when I read it.
Here is a really cool article I found from the New York Times website about the book. Click here if you want to read it!
More to come,