Just as Mother Nature’s blossoming beauties surrender to sleep beneath their blanket of snow, so we should take shelter this wintery time of year. Nestled hearthside with a good book, it’s time to celebrate the art of slowing down.
And if you’re feeling particularly cold, cuddle beneath a cozy comforter, a fat glass of red in hand, and open up this honey of a novel. It will surely warm you.
THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES
by Sue Monk Kidd
Spoiler Alert! This is a feel-good book.
And isn’t that exactly what the dark days of winter demand? A heart-happy read, full of humor and whimsy, Monk Kidd’s debut novel, with its light touch and satisfying ending, made me smile. That’s why I was astounded. I guess some critics disliked the book for the very reason I loved it: they found it too darn sweet.
The Secret Life of Bees is not new. In fact, I first read the book in 2003, just a year after it was published. Adapted for the big screen, the movie premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2008, where it won the Peoples’ Choice Award and the NAACP Image Award.
In this time of partisan politics and climate change, the LOL felt it might be fun to lighten things up a little, and I was happy to revisit this one. If you need a break from the heavy literature that so often takes top spot in contests, store shelves, and book reviews, grab this beautiful book.
Fourteen-year-old Lily is a feisty white girl, living with her bigoted, violent, abusive father in South Carolina. Always in search of information about her mother, who was killed when Lily was just four-years-old, the teen struggles to find her place and a sense of family. She connects most deeply with Rosaleen, the black housekeeper who has lovingly raised her. When Rosaleen registers to vote and is badly beaten by a group of angry white men, Lily has had enough.