So I know I am late to this party. It seems EVERYONE I know has already read this book and possibly seen the movie. It has been on my bookshelf and I just never had the time. This summer I made the time and I was not disappointed.
The book is set in South Carolina in 1964. Lily Owens, 14, is the main character. Lily has a troubled past. She lost her mother, Deborah, and feels her death was her fault. Her father, T.Ray, is a peach farmer that is often harsh and cold towards Lily and the only person who she feels loved by is her nanny, Rosaleen.
Rosaleen decides to register to vote and on the way they are met with a group of men that start trouble. When Rosaleen stands up for herself she is thrown in jail and beaten. Lily finds out that when Rosaleen does get out that the men will most likely kill her and that is where the adventure begins.
Lily manages to break Rosaleen out of the hospital by fooling a guard and they end up in Tiburon, SC where they find a family of bee keepers that take them in. Lily learns so much about bees that summer and about life and the tragedies that come with it.
The Characters: I am just going to sum up the 4 that I felt had the most impact on the story
I felt bad for Lily, but at times she frustrated me. She endured so much in such a small amount of time and did what she thought she had too, but I feel like she played mind games with August. She withheld and lied and claimed she was protecting herself but I felt like she would NEVER give in.
I loved her. She was the rock of the little community and so wise and patient. Reading this made me want to stand in the beehouse and help jar the honey and listen to her all day.
I hated him but at the same time I feel like he loved his daughter. I just feel like with all the hurt he endured he let the cold move in and couldn't let go.
Oh Rosaleen... I loved her but at times she was a little childish. She was sweet and determined though, and I cried happy tears when she got all dolled up to register to vote again.
It is a must read. I loved the setting and being a southern girl I could immerse myself in that hot summer easily. The characters were lovable and passionate and you could feel their love oozing off the pages. The story had twists and turns and kept me wanting more and I was a little sad when it ended, but I felt the ends were tied up nicely. I feel like it is one I will revisit and fine different favorite parts each time.