Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees is a pleasant read and perfect for my train ride. It's the story of a 14 year old, engaging runaway, who finds refuge with a loving family of African American women. It fits in the genre of wise women nurturing wounded women. Its backdrop is the late 60's racial conflict of the South, where those in power want to keep Jim Crow laws.

The main character Lili flees a cruel father and rescues her Black housekeeper who got arrested when she was going to register to vote. They find the family of sisters, who keep bees and pray to the Black Madonna. These sisters have their share of idioscracies and offer support to their neighbors. The two men in the story are very much on the sidelines.

The book reads fast and follows in the tradition of other novels that celebrate women helping women.

I pulled the book off my sister's shelf when I saw ads for the movie. I bet Queen Latifah et al will be good, but I'm not racing to the theater as the story wasn't that original. I'm sure I'll get the DVD though.

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