Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love--a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.
Although this was required reading, I enjoyed this as much as I would reading this book for pleasure. The story started out a little slow and I didn't care much for it, but what really made me love this book was the ending. Everything came together in the end and I even got a little emotional.
The story is written in the perspective of the main character Lily Owens. I found her to be a smart and witty. Throughout the book there is great character development for Lily. I really liked all the characters in this book as all had their own interesting back stories.
I really learned a lot about bees and bee keeping from this novel and what I really enjoyed were the epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter which were facts about bees from real books. They also cleverly related to the plot which I thought was fantastic.
The Secret Life of Bees is a classic coming of age novel with great characters and a heartwarming plot.
✰✰✰✰✰ 5 stars - Digest it and eating it again! :D