The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is an incredibly moving novel set in the 1960’s about 14 yr old Lily who is a runaway in search of her mother’s past. She has brought along her surrogate mother, the black family maid, Rosaleen, and the two of them happen upon the “calendar” sisters, beekeepers named August, June, and May.
The novel is about love, family, race, home, faith, and accepting your past. I thought the characters were enigmatic and I really felt for Lily’s past. I felt like I could really love August for her kindness and nurturing and I understood May’s inability to let go of the pain and hurting of others. Sometimes I find my own empathy to be suffocating and it easily fills me to the brim with sadness.
The novel was a good reminder of what’s important in life. Faith & love & family & treating people the way they deserve to be treated, regardless of race, sexuality, or gender. I loved the strong female heroines and I thought it was incredibly well written.