Lily Learns About Her Mother's Past

Secret Life Of Bees Newsletter by: Lauren Bickel

Background Knowledge About Lily and Her Life

Lily Owens mom died when she was 4 years old. Since then she has been living with her abusive father. She ran away from home with Rosaleen who worked for the Owens family. They went in search of information about Lily’s mom. They ended up at the pink house in Tiburon, South Carolina because that is the address found on one of her mom’s old photos. She met August, May, June, and Zack who are beekeepers at the house. She thinks they may have known her mom but is too afraid to ask. Shortly before May died she told Lily that she knew her mom (Deborah Fontanel).


Lily finally finds out the past about her mom who was killed when Lily was only four years old

Lily finally works up the courage to ask August about her mom, Deborah Fontanel. August tells her that she had known her mom almost her entire life. She was her nanny when she was growing up. They stayed in touch after that. When Deborah realized that her husband (T. Ray) was becoming abusive she left and went to August’s house. She stayed there for 3 months leaving Lily behind. Then when she went back to get Lily there was an incident with a gun which killed Deborah. This shocks Lily because she went her whole life knowing nothing about her mom and she now knows that she stayed in the very house that she ended up in when she ran away. She begins to hate her mother for leaving her in the first place. She believes that if her mother had taken her at first that she wouldn’t have died and they would be living happily in the pink house with August, June, May, and Zack. She learns to accept her mom and what happened and realize that everything happens for a reason, and if it hadn’t happened then she never would have met August, June, May, and Zack.

Obituary of May Boatwright

May Boatwright was a fragile and sensitive soul. So delicate that she felt other people’s pain as much or more than they did. May was loved by many. She lived in Tiburon, South Carolina with her two sisters, August and June. She worked as a beekeeper with her family where they made honey. May was a person who carried a lot of burden. She had been unhappy since her twin sister April died years ago. She could get saddened very easily from small things that other people might not notice, and she often seemed very infirm. She will forever be remembered for her caring personality, incredible intelligence, and her loving spirit. May will be truly missed by Lily, August, June, Zack, and Rosaleen.

Interview of Lily owens

Interviewer: How did you decide that running away from home was the best option?


Lily: I knew that if I stayed nothing would ever change. I wouldn’t ever have a real dad who was kind, and I would never find out anything about my mom. Also, with everything going on with Rosaleen and her being in jail it wouldn’t be safe staying.


Interviewer: What did you learn from May while she was alive?


Lily: May was one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She taught me that you only get one life, and you can’t redo it. May showed me that tough times may come but if you stay optimistic you can overcome any challenge. She is the one who first told me that her, August, and June knew my mother. When she passed away I realized that life is short and that is what got me motivated to talk to August about everything.


Interviewer: What were you feeling when August told you about your mother’s life?


Lily: At first, I was shocked. I went from knowing nothing about my mom to finding out her entire past. Different emotions were flowing through my head including anger, but I knew I had to stay positive. I knew that she left because it was the best option for her, and if she never had left then I wouldn’t have met August, June, and May.


Interviewer: How did you feel when T.Ray showed up at the pink house?


Lily: I was terrified. Nobody was at the pink house with me and I knew that he would try to bring me back home. When he called me Deborah I knew that he was confused and hurt from when my mom left. Luckily August showed up just in time to help me.


Interviewer: What might happen if the men come back for Rosaleen?


Lily: I think about this a lot. They dropped charges against me and Rosaleen. If they come back I guess we would just have to hope for the best and try to fight through it and remain positive and calm during whatever happens.