A coming-of-age story, set in era of U.S. Civil Rights movement, this story is not for the timid reader. But that said, it does carry a worthy, if not simple, message: that love can transform lives. It also showcases the power of women coming together to heal physical and emotional wounds.
The story is about 14-year-old Lily Owens who leaves her home with an abusive father who told her that she herself accidentally killed her own mother. Lily, who was raised by a proud yet wise African-American nanny, leaves her home to break her nanny out of jail who was put there when she tried to use her newly won right to vote.. and the two set out across South Carolina in search of a new life. Now, on the run, the two wander around until they find a mysterious place in a card found in her dead mother's things: The home of a group of three African-American women who are keeping bees.
It's a story of hot Southern sun, buzzing bees, honey, mothers, warmth, family and kindness. And, in this atmosphere, Lily begins to deal with the awful guilt her father handed her. And, yes, the end of the story spells out the details of what exactly happened to her mother...and another surprise as well.
Review by T.