The Secret Life of Bees This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Sue Monk Kidd has definitely outdone herself with this outstanding novel. Set in South Carolina in 1964, this book explores the thoughts, hopes and wishes of 14-year-old Lily Melissa Owens as she seeks out information about her deceased mother.

The story begins as Lily argues with her domineering father, T. Ray. To take a break from his anger, she goes to town with Rosaleen, her black servant and stand-in mother, so Rosaleen can register to vote. In town, Rosaleen angers three of the town's racists and is thrown into jail. To Lily, there is only one solution: spring Rosaleen and run away, not only for Rosaleen's sake but Lily's too.

Rosaleen and Lily end up at the hot-pink house of the three black beekeeping Boatwright sisters, May, June, and August. Under their gentle care, Lily not only learns the art of beekeeping but tolerance, too. She also relives some painful memories and comes to terms with the accidental death of her mother. Under the Boatwrights' guidance, Lily is also introduced to the Black Madonna, on whom she learns to rely as another stand-in mother.

This book, set during the Civil Rights movement, explores racism, segregation and angst while maintaining an overall theme of self-acceptance. With humor, grief and drama rolled into one magnificent story, this is one of the best books I've ever read. Although The Secret Life of Bees is geared toward women, I highly recommend it to all who love a good heart-warmer.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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sunnyhunny This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm
This book had so much emotion in it.  I liked the movie too.  (of course movies can never compare to the books though.)
 
savannnnnnah. said...
Oct. 9, 2008 at 12:44 am
My mom recommended that I read this book. I cannot thank her enough for this, I learned so much from this book, including beekeeping!
 
kellyk said...
Oct. 6, 2008 at 1:22 pm
i thought this article was full of insight and very well written!
 
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