“The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd

I don’t want to finish this absolutely beautiful novel by Sue Monk Kidd. It’s one of those books that I just don’t want to end, but—alas—the end is near!

For those of you who’ve never heard of it before, The Secret Life of Bees is the coming-of-age story of Lily Owen, an abused fourteen-year-old who tragically lost her mother as a young child. Set in the rural South in the 1960’s, Lily, along with the Owens’ motherly servant Rosaleen, flees the only home she knows in search of the truth about her past, as well as a place where she and Rosaleen can finally feel safe. The amazing women they meet along the way change Lily’s life in ways both she and the reader could have never anticipated.

Now, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t meant to be a YA novel in the author’s eyes. It wasn’t marketed that way, at least. But fortunately someone recognized what a great read this would be for teenagers and ordered two copies for our teen room. That’s how I stumbled on it, and I’ve been pushing copy number two every chance I get (I’ve met with success twice!)

Of course, copy number one is still in my possession, because here I am, putting off the inevitable. I’m blogging about the book instead of reading it so I can stretch the final chapter even later into the night. I don’t want to say bye to Lily or August or Rosaleen or Zachary, or to the honey house, or even to the Black Madonna. But I guess I’ll have to. And I have a feeling, what with my current state of over-emotional PMS, that I’m going to end up in a fountain of blubbering tears. That’s not so bad—we all need a good cry sometimes, right?

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