I can’t say I’ve read any story quite like this one, and I loved it!
Well, actually I listened to it on CD, narrated by a talented young reader whose voice, energy, and emotion fit perfectly with the story she was telling. Aside from the recording, the words themselves were a pleasure to hear, and I’m sure they would be a pleasure to read.
This is a coming-of-age novel for the main character and for the Southern U.S. during the Civil Rights era. Lily Owens, a South Carolina white girl raised by her angry peach farmer father turns 14 in 1964. Rosaleen, the black housekeeper who raised her, determinedly sets out to register to vote in their small town. And the next thing you know, the two find themselves a few hours away, with a different family and circle of friends, on a beekeeping farm with a new cast of vivid characters in their lives. Lily’s own past is a mystery to her, a mystery that becomes clearer as she matures in the pages of this book through turmoil, adventure, celebration, injustice, daily life, love, and work.
Enjoying a good story with likable characters was no surprise to me, but who knew I’d be just as interested to learn about bees? Since finishing the book, I’ve found myself thinking about becoming a beekeeper multiple times. I savor honey more as well. Mmm.