The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, is a mid-grade novel about a girl named Lily, growing up in the south in the 1960s. It is an exceptional story about dealing with tragedy, guilt, and forgiveness.
Lily Owens is a fourteen-year-old girl, living with her abusive father on a peach farm in South Carolina. Lily's mother died when Lily was four years old in a tragic accident that Lily caused. One day, Lily's "stand-in-mother," Rosaleen, gets wrongfully arrested and beaten in jail by racists. Lily fears for Rosaleen's life and busts her out of prison. Lily and Rosaleen flee to Tiburon, South Carolina to a bee keeper's home. A place that Lily is sure her mother once visited. Through the wisdom and patience of the beekeeper, named August, Lily deals with her tragic past and blossoms like a beautiful flower.
Sue Monk Kidd skillfully paints a picture of life in the south in the 1960s. She also captures the voice of a budding teenager very well. I enjoyed reading this story and had trouble putting it down.
I recommend this book to teenage girls and women of all ages.