Written by Sue Monk Kidd the novel “The Secret Life of Bees” traces the life of a 14 year old girl searching for love and care. The story begins in a peach farm in Sylvan, South Carolina but travels toward and ends in Tiburon, South Carolina.
The city of Tiburon unleashes many truths that lily has wondered throughout her life. The town brings her what she has been longing for since she was a child. Fourteen year old Lily Owens lives with her cruel father who has piled her with the guilt and responsibility of her mothers’ death when she was a young child. After her stand in mother Rosaleen arrested and sent to the hospital for insulting three of the towns biggest racists, they flee to Tiburon, South Caroline in search of information about her mother. They are taken in by three Negro sisters who Lily believes knew her mother at some time in her life. Lily and Rosaleen live with the sisters for awhile before Lily comes clean about her mother and the lies she has been telling.
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When she finally asks about her mother she finds out many things about her as well as her father. Throughout the story Lily struggles with the fact that she had killed her mother and whether or not T.Ray was had been telling her the truth about her mother leaving when she was younger. When she eventually asks August about this she finds that her father was once a very kind and loving man but was hardened by her mothers leaving him and finds that her mother had many problems that she had to deal with before bringing Lily with her, and on her attempt to retrieve Lily she had been accidentally shot by Lily. Throughout the novel Lily learns many lessons and becomes a young lady. While all the racism is occurring, Lily is able to get past the skin color of August and her sisters and the cruelty of her father and see they beauty they carry inside them.
This novel deals with the coming of age and the search for love. Throughout reading this novel I came to admire Lily Owens. No matter what happened she would carry on and do what ever it takes to find out about her mother. Not only did she care greatly for everyone she showed interest in everyone and encouraged them in what they wanted. She was free spirited and pleased to help even though she was the one in need of help. Although I admire her for those things, the thing that brought me to admire her greatly is the fact that she was living in a time of racism and they were considered to be worth nothing, she cared and loved Negroes more than she did her own race.
She saw through the color of their skin and came to see that they were no different then any other human being. With her fathers’ cruelty and his abusive behavior towards her and the fact that her mother did not want her and abandoned.