The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, is a story about Lily, a young girl raised in South Carolina in 1964. She is cared for by Rosaleen, her nanny, and alternately abused and neglected by her father T. Ray. When Rosaleen's life is threatened in their small town, and her father does nothing, Lily conspires to run away with Rosaleen. They follow clues left behind by her mother, who'd passed away ten years before, and find a life neither Lily nor Rosaleen knew anything about.
This novel is both heart wrenching and inspiring. It is filled with life and death, joy and pain, all intertwined so tightly that they are nearly indistinguishable at times. I found myself drawn into Lily's story, not wanting to let go of the book until she was at least a bit happier, a bit safer than where I found her. This story shows that finding your true family doesn't always have to be limited by blood, and that it can come in many forms. If you don't mind your heartstrings being pulled often by a story, I do recommend this. Enjoy this with a large cup of tea, a comfy blanket, and a box of tissues handy if you so desire, but don't miss this one.