April 3, 2006

“The Secret Life of Bees”

by Sue Monk Kidd

Book Description:
Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love--a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

Meaningful Quotes:
I started appreciating mother nature, what she'd done with the world.

I realized it for the first time in my life: There is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don't even know it.

“Well, you know, she's really just the figurehead off an old ship. But the people needed comfort and rescue. So when they looked at it, they saw Mary, and so the spirit of Mary took it over. Really, her spirit is everywhere. Inside rocks and trees and even people. But sometimes it will get concentrated in certain places and just beam out at you in a special way.”

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.

“And whatever it is that keeps widening your heart, that's Mary too, not only the power inside you but the love. And when you get down to it, that's the only purpose grand enough for a human life not just to love – but to persist in love.

Other books by Sue Monk Kidd:
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
When the Heart Waits
God's Joyful Surprise