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Later, when Lily stands up to her father, he lashes out at her by saying that, on the day her mother died, she had only been in the house to collect her clothes before leaving, abandoning Lily.Traumatized, Lily notices that the bees she had captured have escaped and decides she should also, fleeing with a bag of items that once belonged to her mother, including a picture of a Black Mary, mother of Jesus, with the name of a town, Tiburon, written on the back.
A mutual attraction develops between Lily and Zach and they encourage each other to follow their dreams of becoming a writer and a lawyer respectively.
Although she feels increasingly guilty about it, Lily has still not told the Boatwrights her true family history out of fear that she will be sent back to her father.
After Lily finds Rosaleen in the local hospital, recovering from a beating from racist police officers, the two of them hitchhike to the town.
When they arrive in Tiburon, Lily and Rosaleen discover that the picture is the label from a honey jar.
However, she mostly remembers the start of the summer as an unhappy time, where she lived as an outsider, unloved by her cruel and abusive father, T.
Ray, and haunted by a terrible half-memory in which she believes she accidentally shot and killed her mother, Deborah, when she was a tiny child.Since its publication in 2001, it has been published in thirty-five countries and has received several nominations and awards.During the book The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, the reader is able to see some of the many unique values or characteristics that Lily, the main character, holds.Here, both Lily and Rosaleen become part of a close and supportive Black community who call themselves the Daughters of Maryand pray toa large statue of a Black Mary.Through this, Lily gets to know August and her sisters—the withdrawn and suspicious June and the sorrowful and fragile May—as well as Zach, a Black teenager who helps with the bees.The novel closes with Lily attending high school with Zach, having grown strong and confident, and having learned to forgive, to believe in herself, and to love and be loved.has been widely celebrated by both critics and the general public and is particularly well regarded for its treatment of racism as irrational but still insidious and destructive.Even in the early stages of this book one is able to see Lily's character traits, such as, her low self-worth and esteem, her faith in people, and also impulsiveness driven by her desire for a stable and loving family.It is not until Lily starts on her quest into her mother's past that one can see fully the depth and trueness of these qualities.It begins with the narrator, Lily Melissa Owens, recalling how her life changed drastically in 1962, when she was a 14-year-old white girl living in South Carolina.She thinks happily of bees visiting her in her room that summer and remembers capturing some of them in a jar.