Friday, 20 September 2013

The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd

Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four. She not only has her own memory of holding the gun, but her father's account of the event. Now fourteen, she yearns for her mother, and for forgiveness. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, she has only one friend: Rosaleen, a black servant whose sharp exterior hides a tender heart. South Carolina in the sixties is a place where segregation is still considered a cause worth fighting for. When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily is compelled to act. Fugitives from justice and from Lily's harsh and unyielding father, they follow a trail left by the woman who died ten years before. Finding sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world, as about the mystery surrounding her mother.

Publisher: Headline Review - Fiction
Paperback/Kindle: 384 pages
Year: 2011/2013
ISBN-13: 978-0747266839 

This is a truly touching story of a young girl who for 10 years has carried the guilt that she had accidentally shot and killed her mother.  Her father who loves her in his own way is a hard task master and doesn't understand 14 year old girls at all.  Her one true friend is Rosaleen, a black servant on her fathers peach farm,  who has looked after her since the death of her mother.  When Rosaleen finds herself in trouble with the police and badly beaten,  Lily decides she has to do something to protect her friend.  Armed with a photograph of her mother and a picture of a black Madoona they set off to to find sanctuary.  This they find in Tiburon at the home of the Boatwright sisters.The Boatwright sisters keep bees and  have lived in the pink house for years. They are best known for the honey that their bees produce the jars of which bear the label of the Black Madonna. Lily needs to know the connection between the Boatwright sisters and that of her dead mother. I have watched the film on a number of occasions but when I saw the book was available on kindle I just had to read the book.  I was surprised to find that the film stayed true to the book.    If you are a fan of 'The Help' you will find this a good read.  

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