The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is an amazing coming-of-age fictional novel. It’s set in 1964 and follows the struggles of a 14-year-old girl named Lily Owens whose life has been built around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. She runs away from her abusive father with her nanny Rosaleen on her fourteenth birthday after personal and societal troubles consume her life. They go on a quest to Tiburon, South Carolina to discover what truly happened to Lily’s mother when Lily herself was only 4 years old. It focuses on the racism that occurred during the 1960s in the southern U.S. states and shows the vulnerable sides of both the young girl and her nanny. It involves loss, betrayal, as well as love and I believe all the characters are beautifully written, allowing readers to connect with Lily. It does have a bit of inappropriate language here and there but it’s a wonderfully written novel and you will be drawn to the plot from the very beginning.

Review by: Dolores Rodriguez

Dolores is a virtual volunteer at Sylmar Branch Library. She is a 12th grader at Orthopaedic Hospital Medical Magnet High School.

—Dana Eklund, Young Adult Librarian, Sylmar Branch