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By: Karoline Santos Souza, Contributing Writer.

Imagine yourself growing up with the memories of your dead mother, living with your abusive father and having a nanny as your only friend. Well, this is the life of an young girl named Lily, the main character of the book The Secret Life of Bees.

The book by Sue Monk Kidd tells the story of Lily Owens, a 14-year-old girl marked by the mystery of her mother’s past. After her friend Rosaleen gets arrested, Lily decides that it is time to find a better life for them both.

The book begins in South Carolina, 1964, during the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against racism. Lily and Rosaleen leave their house for a journey to the little town Tiburon, where Lily believes she finds out more about her mother.

Lily would never imagine the adventures and self knowledge that was waiting for her as she left her house. It’s as if she were saying, “People who think dying is the worst thing don’t know a thing about life.”  

This story was one of the most enjoyable readings of this year so far. Although Lily goes through some unrealistic situations in her life, the book still captures the importance of living our lives in the best way possible.

Sue Monk Kidd had the ability to embrace delicate subjects as child abuse, racism and suicide in a compassionate way, by always using bees as a metaphor, like the title proposes.

The bees play an important role in the life of the characters as Monk Kidd writes. Every chapter starts with a quote from books of bees, and as we read more about the life of those animals it’s possible to see the similarities that we have in common as a society.