The Secret Life of Bees
'' . . . Big Mama kept bees, too, right out there in the same spot they're in today. Nobody around here had ever seen a lady beekeeper till her. She liked to tell everybody that women made the best beekeepers, 'cause they have a special ability built into them to love creatures that sting. 'It comes from years of loving children and husbands,' she'd say'"
After finding “Tibourn, South Carolina” written on some of her mother’s old possessions, she decides to go to the town to see if she can figure out more about her and her life. Lily meets August Boatwright in Tibourn, South Carolina. This search eventually leads to the Boatright house, where three middle aged African American women, August, June, and May, who own a honey bee plantation. August is the maternal voice within the household. She is level-headed and self-sacrificial. Lily desperately craves August’s approval and August willingly gives it. August is quick to challenge Lily and show her grace as well as tough love. Lily holds August in a high regard and respects her ability to sort out messy situations and put situations in their proper perspective.
The Daughters of Mary
Although Lily lacks the presence of her biological mother, she is surrounded by women who teach her the fundamental lessons we learn from our moms; how to love people well, the importance of self-empowerment, and how to forgive others as well as yourself.