The Secret Life of Bees is an emotional and tender story of Lily Owens and her quest to find happiness, truth, and the power to forgive herself. Lily’s quest starts out in Sylvan, South Carolina where she lives with her emotionally abusive Father and the motherly housekeeper, Rosaleen. Lily carries around the guilt of having shot and killed her Mother by accident when she was four years old and all she has to remember her by is a picture of a black Virgin Mary inscribed with the words Tiburon, South Carolina.
After Rosaleen gets arrested and beaten by a group of white men, Lily manages to help Rosaleen escape and they run away together to Tiburon, South Carolina. Their journey takes them to the doorstep of August, May, and June Boatwright who happen to be the owners and producers of Black Madonna Honey. The sisters take in Lily and Rosaleen and with their help Lily goes through a journey of the soul. She experiences loss, sorrow, tragedy, and joy and through this finally finds inner peace.
While reading the book I could not wait to get to the end because I wanted to find out the truth about Lily’s Mother and what would become of Lily and Rosaleen. I was very happy that Lily finally faced her Father and was able to stay with August and June, but was somewhat saddened and disappointed about what was revealed of her Mother.
- How did you feel about the way the story ended? Were you satisfied with the ending? Disappointed? Pleased?
At the end of the book Lily confronts her Father and requests that she stay in Tiburon. Her Father relents and allows her to stay even though he wanted to take her home. Before he drives away Lily asks him for the truth about how her Mother was killed and he confirms that she did kill her Mother, although it was not her fault.
- Do you think T. Ray allowed Lily to stay in Tiburon because, as Lily speculates, he truly did care about her?
- Do you believe he told the truth about Deborah’s death or do you feel he did have something to do with it.