Book Review: Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees

51xqgmvrxml_sl160_This is a magical book that reads like a fairy tale, except that its feet are firmly planted in 1960s South Carolina with its racist tensions.

The narrator is Lily Owens, a young girl whose mother died some ten years before, in a way that still seems mysterious.  Lily has misgivings that she may have been responsible for her own mother’s death. Now she lives with her father – a prickly unpleasant character she names “T. Ray” – and Rosaleen, an African-American woman.

Rosaleen is the only person in Lily’s life who provides emotional warmth, so when she gets into trouble for confronting three racists, Lily hatches a plan to escape.

Lily and Rosaleen wind up in Tiburon, South Carolina, a place that holds the key to unraveling the mystery of her mother’s death.  They find a safe haven in the house of a trio of three beekeeping sisters, where Lily is introduced to the magical nature of bees, honey, the Black Madonna and the divine power of women.  This is a perfect gift for your teenage daughter.

–Cynthia Haggard writes short stories, novels and poetry.  During the day, she is a medical writer and owns her own business.  For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories.  For more about her medical writing services, go to clarifyingconcepts.  (c) 2009. All rights reserved.

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