The Secret Life of Bees

Sue Monk Kidd

Sue Monk Kidd - biography

Sue Monk Kidd is an american author from the state of Georgia. She was born in 1948. She graduated on Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She was also college nursing instructor.

Her path of writing began with a personal essay which was aldo published in Reader's Digest.

She also wrote This is the Day, All Things Are Possible, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine, and many other books but she is best known for her books The Mermaid Chair and The Secret Life of Bees, the book I am writing about.

the main characteristics of the story

This book is set in South Carolina in the summer of 1964, a very important historical era of American history. It is best known for black people getting their civil rights. The secondary story says a lot about black people being discriminated.



The main character name is Lily. She is living on a peach farm with an abusive father. She barely remembers her mother who died when she was little. Lily believes she shot her dead when she was four years old.

Now 14 year-old girl escapes her father's mistreatment with her mother's stuff which she found in the attic of the house. In her attempt of escaping she joins her father's black servant named Rosaleen who is going to register herself on court to get the right to elect.

They encounter a group of white men, haters of colored people. Rosaleen is being harassed by them so she spills juice on one's shoes. Both girls get arrested. Lily is picked up by her father but Rosaleen stays in jail where she is beaten for not giving an apology. When Rosaleen is taken to hospital, Lily gets her out by tricking nurses and the police officer.

lily and rosaleen on their way

After they escape from hospital, they follow notes on the back side of Lily's picture of black Mary which she found in her mother's stuff. It says Tilburon, South Carolina. When they get to the city, Lily sees the same picture that brought them there on the jars of honey in a local store. They have no plans where to go so they chose the easiest way - to follow the clue of the black Mary. They end up in front of a bright pink house.

the beekepers

Lily and Rosaleen are well excepted in their new home after Lily tells a lie about where is she from and what is she doing in Tilburon. The girls are staying with three black sisters named by months - May, June and August and Lily wants to know whether they've known her mother. They both help with work. Lily helps August with her bees and Rosaleen helps May around the house. Theri hosts hold a special religious custom based on Black Mary.

While helping in her new home, Lily meets Zach whom she likes a lot.

lily starts to get to know her mother's life story

Lily sees something in the way that May acts that reminds her of her mother. She gets even closer with Zach and he takes her to the town where he gets arrested with a group of black kids but he has not done anything wrong. When May answers Zach's call to the pink house, she commits a suicide because she has a special state of mind that gets her to feel bad stuff much stronger than others.

After May is buried, Zach get out of jail free of charge. He and Lily kiss and they promise each other to be together someday. Also, August's sister June gets married.

lily opens up to august

When Lily finally gathers the courage to tell August who she is and why she is really here, she is surprised. August already knows her story because she used to work at her parents'. She tells Lily the truth Lily did not want to believe - her mother left her and went to live to August's. Her mother was also planning to file a divorce with T. Ray, Lily's father.

The time she was shot, she came to pick her things and Lily up and go to August's. Lily learns how to forgive herself and her mother for leaving her after days of rage. August gives her her mother's belongings. Lily finds a picture of her being breastfed by her mother.

t. ray finds his daughter

T. Ray finds out where Lily ran to. When he shows up, Lily makes him realise that she is not his long-lost wife. She convinces him that she it is better for her to stay at Tilburon after her father confesses that he has been mistreating Lily because of his broken pride. In autumn, Lily goes to the same school Zach goes.


Lily is an intelligent girl who has been growing up without her mother so she finds herself unworthy of love. Because her father's actions she also finds self-expressing very hard. She does not develop her talent for writing just because of her bad self-esteem.

When she meets August, Lily learns how to respect and love other beings, bees. Throughout the self-recognition she finds out that all creatures, even her are worth of love. Therefore, she is ready to stick to her life path as a strong, confident woman.

the movie

There was also a movie shot after the book in 2008. You can see the IMDb rating and the trailer below.
The Secret Life of Bees Trailer