Bee Life

27 05 2009

When the movie version of The Secret Life of Bees came out, I was completely disinterested. Now after reading the book, I want to see how they did. I’m adamant about reading books first. I would rather be disappointed in a movie for not living up to the book it is attempting to portray instead of being disappointed in a book because I expected it to follow a movie. Books are always better. Always.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is steeped in the tension of early civil rights (1964) and the coming of age of an abused 14-year-old girl named Lily Owens. After her African-American, stand-in mom Rosaleen affronts a few racists while in town with Lily and subsequently finds them both in jail; Lily hatches a plan to bust Rosaleen out of jail and run away from her abusive father T-Ray.

On a scrap of hope Lily hopes to find people who knew her mother before she died and in doing so, to figure out who Lily Owens is. She and Rosaleen end up in the care of August, May, and June Boatwright–African-American sisters who keep bees for a living. While there Lily learns about life, love, family, and bees.

Heartbreaking at times, and funny in others I read this book cover to cover in the matter of a few scattered hours. I found myself thinking about Lily and August while cleaning up messes at work, while washing dishes, when I was showering–I finally made myself sit down and finish the story so as to find some closure on the matter.

Bees was a quick read in truth, if not for my busy schedule I would have read it in one sitting. I have my roommate Prose to thank for the lending of this book, though I think I will be adding it to my personal library in the near future.

Look for a post on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in the next few days as I am nearly finished with it as well. I’m sitting on pins and needles to find out if Jane will get Mr. Bingley, if Mr. Darcy will succeed in capturing Elizabeth’s heart, and where on earth Lydia has gone off to!

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