Secret Life of Bees Summary and Reflection

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THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES by Sue Monk Kidd
This heartfelt, captivating novel starts out with a very troubled fourteen year old girl named Lily Owens who lives with her father and their black maid Rosaleen. Her mother is dead due to an accident partially caused by Lily. As the story begins, Rosaleen gets thrown in jail and beaten up by three white men because all she wanted to do was to go into town and vote. Lily then decides it’s the time for them to run away to find the town Tiburon, South Carolina. This was the town written on the back of a picture of black Mary, which belonged to Lily’s mother. Once they get there, a honey jar label with that same black Mary picture on it leads them to the pepto bismol pink house of August Boatwright and her sisters. August is a strong, independent black woman who owns her own business and land. August welcomes Lily and Rosaleen into her home and teaches them the ways of bee keeping. They meet the Daughters of Mary, a religious group that worships black Mary and become like mothers to Lily. Lily also meets a black boy named Zach and they fall in love. Tragedy occurs when one of the sisters, May, commits suicide. At the end when Lily finally reveals her past to August, August tells her things about her mother that breaks Lily’s heart. When Lily’s father discovers where she is, he demands for her to come home but Lily and August plead for her to stay. In the end, Lily and Rosaleen stay in the Boatwright’s household and Lily somehow comes to forgive her mother. She is really home.

‘People, in general, would rather die than forgive. It’s that hard. If God said in plain language, “I’m giving you a choice, forgive or die,” a lot of people would go ahead and order their coffin.’ In this quote on page 277, Lily is thinking to herself about her mother. She is thinking about how heartbroken she is and how furious and hurt she is that her mother would abandon her. Even though Lily knows that her mother loved her, she can’t find a...
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