The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd

Hi all! I’ve had a pretty fun and adventurous time sense my last posting. Went to Louisville, KY. with my main squeeze. We really enjoyed walking around and strolling through the park. While I was there, we found painted rocks. You may look a little like he did and even say “so what? it’s just a rock…” but let me tell you about these rocks! They were adorable. Each one I found had a little saying on it, painted with an @ to find the painters on the internet. They all were uniquely adorable. Finding these rocks really made my trip. It may be such a silly, small thing, but it’s so sweet to me that people took time from their life to make a small piece of art and hide it in plain sight for someone else. I loved it! I loved it so much, I decided to start my own rock painting, hiding, and seeking site in my hometown of Bloomington, IN. (find us on facebook or instagram – 812Rocks FB or 8_1_2Rocks IG).

I also went to see the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Now, that was great!!! I loved reading the screenplay, and I definitely loved the movie. I can’t wait to see what comes out next for those movies.

 

Anyway, back to books! I finished up The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and it was so sweet. It was such a simple books, with some pretty interesting bee facts thrown in! I looked into the movie and I was disappointed for who they cast as Rosaleen. I would have much preferred if the actress was older. I definitely didn’t think Rosaleen was young when I was reading. Same went for May- I didn’t feel like she was necessarily young in the book, just that she was simple in thinking. The movie had a pretty young actress to play her, too. I can only judge the movie that much though, because I haven’t seen it.

Anyway, if you don’t know, The Secret Life of Bees is set in South Carolina in 1964. The main character, Lily Owens, struggles the entire book with her relationship (or lack of) with her mother, who died when Lily was just 4 years old. Since her mother’s death, Lily had been raised by Rosaleen, a black worker of her father’s. Lily and Rosaleen had to run away after Rosaleen insulted 3 of the biggest racists in town. They choose to go to a small town written on the back of a picture Lily found that belonged to her mother. There, she finds the home of August, June, and May Boatwright and spends the summer in hiding.

Okay- so some things I didn’t like about this book… First, I didn’t necessarily like how this whole book surrounds the death of Lily’s mother. I loved the story over all (saving her “temporary” mom, running away from mean dad). I just didn’t care for the constant banging-over-your-head “she misses her mom”. Lily lost her mom young, at age 4.. and it was by her own hand. I could see some unhappiness and struggles, but I felt like there was too much focus on her. Lily has had 10 years of coming to grips with her mother’s death. It’s just strange to me that she was struggling so badly during the 6 months or so that this book too place. Please note, my mother is alive and well, so not sure if my opinion on this would change at all if that was different.

I did love almost everything else about this story, though! It really was a nice telling. My favorite was probably the relationship/friendship that came up between Zachary and Lily. It was sweet and innocent and I really liked it.

I also liked how the ending wrapped with Lily realizing that T. Ray was as mean as he was because of his pain. I really felt that was a tender, eye-opening moment. To realize all he lost when Lily accidentally took her mother’s life was heart-breaking. You could also see (but not condone) where his anger came from… He was living with a constant visual reminder of all he had lost. Although he was a mean son-of-a-gun, I really didn’t hate him by the end of the book.

Do you have any thoughts to add to this book? There was a lot that happened, and I know I skipped over a ton! Obviously, with the time period and place, there was a lot that had to do with race. I didn’t include that important theme in my blog post because I felt like in the end of the book it took a back seat to the mother story. Not to say it wasn’t important and pivotal to the novel… I just felt that in the end Kidd didn’t intend to make that the main focus of this story. Same with the bees and black Mary. Obviously, it’s important, but is that Kidd wants us to focus on from this book? I didn’t think so.

Have you read this book?

Happy December!!

 

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