This is a novel about a motherless young girl searching for love and to fill an empty void in her incomplete heart. Lily Owens learns to find the strength within to overcome regret, forgiveness, loneliness, women power, and the real meaning of family during a time when people were marginalized by the color of their skin. The book describes the importance of skin pigment as the sun and everything else in the universe were the orbiting planets.
Lily coped with her abusive father by imagining what her mother was and would have been like. She made up comforting scenarios and stories to give herself a piece of mother-daughter love and a sense of acceptance she craved deeply. Lily battled with the memory of accidentally killing her mother as a small child: the suitcase, her parents fighting, and the loud explosive noise. An unspoken memory that deteriorated her from the inside out, as if the memory were a puzzle with broken pieces she struggled to put together and make sense out of daily.
Lily ran away with her nanny and worked as a beekeeper in her new home. Most people don’t know the complicated life of bees inside their hive, which connects the title to the secret life Lily was living. Which required more strength to carry, a pack of lies or a pack of truth? Life isn’t meant to be perfect.
The following quotes I highlighted to share with you:
“Did you know there are 32 names for love in one of the Eskimo languages? And we just have this one. We are so limited. You have to use the same word for loving Rosaleen as you do for loving a Coke with peanuts. Isn’t that a shame we don’t have more ways to say it?” – August pg. 140
“You know, some things don’t matter that much, Lily. Like the color of a house. How big is that in the overall scheme of life? But lifting a person’s heart – now, that matters. The whole problem with people is they know what matters, but they don’t choose it.” – August pg. 147
I highly recommend this book, especially to mothers and daughters. Thanks for reading!