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The Secret Life of Bees is a 2002 bestselling novel by American author Sue Monk Kidd. It has received much critical acclaim and became a New York Times bestseller. 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.

I just recently finished reading this and I absolutely adored it. I first learned about this book through my Hilarie Burton/Dakota Fanning obsession because they’re both in the movie adaptation (I later found out that Alicia Keys is also in the film, so if Keira Knightley suddenly appears from out of one corner of the screen, I’ll be a happy girl). I showed the trailer to my sister and if I remember correctly, that same night, she saw the book and bought it. After reading it, she said it was worth every penny. Naturally, I read it after her and I loved it.

I think I’m growing partial to books with first person POVs. I like looking at things through another person’s eyes. Lily Owens’ voice, while very smart and deep, still manages to stay believable and sound like a 14-year-old’s. I liked how I was able to witness when she started discovering new things about herself, her mother and the world. The book also tackled racism, feminism and other serious issues, through the eyes of a very young girl. Her ideas, her thoughts, her feelings are all so fresh and engaging, I found myself automatically drawn to the character. There was this one line where she said that she knew black people could be smart, she just didn’t know they could be smarter than her. I don’t know why, but that line really made me laugh. I hate racism, but that didn’t sound like racism to me. It just sounded like a young girl matter-of-factly stating what she thought.

Anyway, before this blog takes up my entire day, just go read it before the movie comes out. The movie stars Dakota Fanning as Lily Owens, Jennifer Hudson as her nanny Rosaleen, and Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo as August, June and May Boatwright. I think Dakota Fanning is the only cast member who is actually her character’s age, but I really don’t mind. Hilarie Burton plays her deceased mother.



Is in her mid-20s. Is a girl. Loves to write. Loves taking pictures. Vents a lot. Finds her days too boring. Finds herself too sheltered. Wants to meet a faerie, for real. Swears a lot. Knows that's bad. Just might have too dirty a mind.

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December 2018
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