Full of twists and turns, the book The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, tells the tale of a teenage girl name Lily and her journey of discovering her mother’s past before she died. Lily Owens grew up with an abusive dad and a housekeeper who has taken the role of Lily’s mom. As the story develops, so does Lily. She becomes a lovely young women who can see beyond others people’s race. When Lily goes to Tiburon in hopes of finding out more about her mom, she meets August, May, and June, the three beekeeper sisters. Lily stays with them and learns about their traditions. While she learns about her mother, she also falls in love with Zach. However when all seems well, T.Ray, the abusive father, shows up. He tells Lily the harsh truth. When she finally finds her mother’s darkest secret, she is in shock for many days. Despite this, she soons learns to embrace it and move on. The New York Times Best Selling author creates an original novel by drawing the reader in and keeping them on their toes. The book uses different types of figurative language, a creative plot, and sympathetic characters that ultimately allows the reader to clearly imagine the book and develop true emotions.
To start, figurative language keeps the reader engaged. Using different types of figurative language makes the story interesting. For example Sue Monk Kidd uses bees to represent Lily’s mom. In the beginning of the the book, Lily feels her mom’s presence when the bee’s swarm her room. The book starts off by saying, At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin. (Kidd 1) Doing this makes the reader curious why there are bees in her room. These bee’s show Lily that they need a queen in order to function which relates to lily because she is lost without a female figure that she can look up to. She starts by using her memory of her mother to fulfil this role but soon moves onto rosaleen and finally August. She finally knows the feeling of being loved by a mother after years without her real mom. They also use other types of figurative language other than symbolism, metaphors are also used effectively. In chapter one, we see Lily describe her relationship with Rosaleen as she is Rosaleen’s pet guinea pig. (Kidd 2) Since Rosaleen has no experience with raising kids, she experiments on Lily. Effective use of figurative language proves to work as it makes the book extremely good.
Throughout the book, interesting things are constantly happening which shows a creative plot. It starts with Lily and Rosaline escaping from the hospital after they had an incident with the racist white folks. Since this was extremely dangerous and risky, it draws the reader in. Lily and Rosaleen go outside of the hospital and she took Rosaline’s hand and tugged her down the sidewalk. (Kidd 49) Using suspense makes a scary mood in the book as the readers hope that they will escape which makes them wonder what will happen next. Using different moods, she allows the reader to visualize what is happening. Further in the book, Lily finds Zach, a young african guy, who she falls in love with. Because they are different race and have to face racial discrimination from others, they have to keep their relationship secretive. Readers want to find out if they can overcome this challenge so the interesting plot keeps readers engaged and proves to be efficient. Overall, the creative plot deems efficient as readers find new challenges and solutions in every chapter.
Characters that have experience pain and suffering makes the reader sympathize with them. The Secret Life of Bees have multiple characters that have experienced many misfortunes. Sympathetic characters let the reader to truly care for them which is one of the many reason this novel is truly wonderful. Throughout the book, readers can sympathize with Lily and how she has an abusive father. When Lily argues with her father, hebrought his hand against [Lily’s] face. (Kidd 294) We can see the pain that Lily goes through and what she had to grow up with. Violence often happens in families and many experience the pain so many people can relate to Lily’s case. Although T. Ray is abusive, many readers can also relate to his pain. He lost his wife twice as she left him the first time and to death the second. As a result, he takes his anger out on Lily who was the one who accidentally killed her. However, at the end of the book T. Ray realizes that he has lost his daughter and decides that in order to give her the life she deserves, he needs to leave. When T. Ray is leaving, Lily demands him to answer her life-long question, if she was the one who killed her mother. T. Ray speaking the truth tries to comfort her daughter when he says, I could tell you I did it. That’s what you wanna hear. I could tell you she did it to herself, but both ways I’d be lying. It was you who did it, Lily. You didn’t mean it, but it was you. (Kidd 299) Lily’s father then proceeds to leave leaving Lily deep in thought. Almost every character in the book can be sympathized with and as a result, it creates a masterpiece. Clearly, important characters that readers can relate to improves the book drastically.
The Secret Life of Bees is an amazing book that clearly deserves a lot of attention. Sue Monk Kidd captures the story of Lily and how she finds out the secret of her mother when she was alive. This book was definitely one of the best book that I have ever read. Because I could sympathize with the characters, I truly enjoyed the relationships that took place and how they turned out. The way the problem was established early on in the book and how it was solved at the end was brilliant. This book was meant for anyone that enjoys reading about love and the journey to find friendships. Anyone that enjoys reading about overcoming racial discrimination and prejudice. All in all, The Secret Life of Bees, written by Sue Monk Kidd is truly an amazing piece of art as it includes multiple figurative language use, creative plot, and real authentic characters which readers can relate to.
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