Ok Before getting started with this, I must warn you to brace yourselves for an emotional, unusual, sticky-sweet review, since I well, Haven't done one of these since 'How to save a Life' by Sara Zarr, lol. ✿◕ ‿ ◕✿
I'm going to be honest here, I was a bit hesitant on reading this book, seeing as I thought it'd be all about bees and such, but giving it a go, I discovered that it was about more than that and it was also about 'the coming of age' and family love ^_^
Lily Melissa Owens (Or lets just call her Lily (¬‿¬)) is our protagonist. She lives with her scathing and abusive father, who also owns a peach farm where she works most of the time to earn allowance. Her father also tells Lily that she accidentally shot her mother when she was only 4 years old, which is why she has now lived motherless. Since the setting of this story takes place during the civil rights movement, she also has an African-American maid named Rosaleen. In the beginning of the story, Rosaleen and Lily head to town to buy some supplies for Lily when suddenly a racist white man comes in their way and insults Rosaleen. Being the independent and brave woman Rosaleen was, she defended herself from the white man and that ended up in Rosaleen being arrested and Lily taken back home by her father. At that moment when Lily is back at her house, she comes up with a plan to get Rosaleen out of jail and run away with her. Although Lily was a little unsure of her plan, all she knew was that she didn't want to live with her father anymore and that she wanted to search for her mother.
After reading this novel, I gave it 8 stars. I think that it was a very inspirational and emotional novel and it shows the hardships and good times that families go through and how families don't have to have blood relations. The message from this novel teaches us the importance of family and how strong the love of family is. In the beginning, Lily is in search of the truth of her mother and to find out whether she is really dead or alive, but at the end, Lily finds out that she doesn't need to worry or be sad just because she doesn't have her biological mother, and that she has mothers all around her to take care of her and love her. I was also quite inspired by the courage and bravery of Lily and how she wasn't afraid to get caught by anyone. She not only saved Rosaleen's life but also her's as well. She searched for happiness instead of giving up, which should be a lesson for all of us.
As I read this novel, I also learned about the hardships of African-Americans during a time of segregation of races and limited freedom for black people. How it was a very important milestone for a black person to be able to register to vote and how there were consequences for black people for just even communicating with white people. But I also learned about the great businesses that were created by black people like for instance the honey business that belonged to the Boatwright sisters or as Rosaleen would call them the 'Calendar Sisters'. By reading this book, I was also able to learn a lot of things about the life of bees. While August taught Lily about how to take the honey out of the combs and how to calm the bees before opening the combs, I also learned quite a lot myself like that if a queen bee has died, all the other bees would create swarms and fly all over the place until there is a new queen bee.
My favorite character from this novel would probably be Rosaleen. Although she was alittle annoying and ungrateful at times, she was still a great mother figure to Lily just like all the other sisters. I also liked Lily in the story as well. I thought that she was a courageous and bold girl even though in some parts of the story you'd feel so sorry for her since she normally felt guilty about her mother's death throughout the story.
I also had a lot of imageries from this novel. My own imageries did relate to the actual settings of the film adaptation(which by the way, was awesome!) I mostly was able to depict the fields and plantations from the story but also other things like the place where August and Lily got the honey and the bee hives.
(This picture is from usgreenchamber.com. No copyright intended)
♫ My favorite quote(s) from this novel:♫
“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here.”
“There is nothing perfect...only life.”
“You gotta imagine what's never been.”
“I can't think of anything I'd rather have more than somebody lovin' me.”
-LIA ♥ ✌