Secret Life of Bees

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The book that I read is called, “The Secret Life of Bees”, by Sue Monk Kidd. The main character and point of view the story is told from is 14 years old Lily Owens. She lives in Sylvan, South Carolina on her families peach farm. When Lily was very young her mother was shot and killed and now Lily taken care of by her African American nanny and housekeeper Rosaleen. Lily also lives with her father and she says in the book that it never felt right to call him dad so she just settled on T. Ray. T. Ray is abusive and convinces Lily that her mother’s death is all her fault by telling her that she picked up the gun and it went off in her hands and killed her mother and that her mother didn’t care about her at all and left her. The date is 1964 and President Johnson has just signed the Civil Rights Act. Rosaleen decides that she wants to register to vote and Lily walks with her into town. As they reach the outskirts of town Rosaleen and Lily come across three white men who harass Rosaleen. Rosaleen snaps and pours her snuff jar on their shoes. They men are furious and beat Rosaleen up right in front of Lily. One of the men calls the police and has Rosaleen arrested and Lily is picked up by T. Ray. T. Ray scares Lily by saying that the men Rosaleen assaulted will probably come back and kill her. T. Ray tells Lily that her mother planned on abandoning her the day she was killed and this is the last straw for Lily. She stands up to T. Ray and while he was out in the peach field she packs her bags and the small box of her mother’s belongings and leaves a note telling T. Ray that he shouldn’t bother looking for her. Lily goes back to the jail to visit Rosaleen and is told she is now in the hospital and Lily knows that the white men must have come back and beat her up some more. Lily manages to break Rosaleen out of the hospital and they hitchhike to Tiburon, South Carolina

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