May 27, 2005

The Secret Life of Bees


“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 black ‘stand-in-mother,’ Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina—a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.” This story holds a message for just about anyone. Through Lily’s trials and triumphs, happiness and justice is served and hope is restored within the reader for a brighter future. I would definitely recommend this novel to others.

“O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.”

This was a passage Lily came across in her mother’s book by William Blake. It had been underlined. Lily closed the book and wanted the words to roll off of her, but they had stuck. “I wanted nothing so much as to tell her how sorry I was for being one of the invisible worms that flew in the night.” Lily’s feelings of guilt, loneliness, and despair were rooted in her mother’s death. To make matters worse, T.Ray, her father, was physically and mentally abusive. He refused to nurture or support Lily through her upbringing, something she so desperately longed for and needed.

“A queenless colony is a pitiful and melancholy community; there may be a mournful wail or lament from within… Without intervention, the colony will die. But introduce a new queen and the most extravagant change takes place.” This introduction to chapter fourteen beautifully demonstrates the loss of Lily’s mother and May. Lily probably would have not been alright if she had stayed with T.Ray all of the time. By meeting the sisters, Lily found acceptance, love, and truth. She found closure to her mother’s death and freedom from T.Ray. An amazing change has taken place at the end of the novel when Lily almost becomes her mother… she has grown tremendously and will persevere as a young woman should.

Posted by KaylaTurano at May 27, 2005 7:09 PM | TrackBack