Sue Monk Kidd‟s narration in the “The Secret Life of Bees” (2002) is a vivid documentation of a 14-year-old motherless girl called Lily. The book was translated into over 20 other languages. It tells a story of the central character who is Lily who has to live without the presence of a mother and also with a father that is cruel and abusive. She is desperately in search of the clues that could assist her to unlock her past that denotes the presence of her mother. The book is clearly able to present a young and naïve protagonist as the central character that is journeying through childhood and is assisted by a black and threatened caregiver. It is what they later find at the doorsteps of the three black sisters that were beekeepers that catalyze the growth of Lily who is a white girl in the company of black girls. They journey through the social struggles presented in the book in the companionship of Rosaleen. However, Kidd can go beyond the typical depictions of the social constructs of patriarchal worldview into indicating the struggle and the victory of young ladies in the midst of the struggles in their lives. Lily Owens is in the search of self-actualization, discovery and also wants to make something good out of her life. Lily is not accepting the presence of a surrogate father to be the source of support to her throughout the unfolding of the story, but she chooses the companionship and the support of two strong women Rosaleen and August that are surrogate mothers. It is the presence of the women that offers the nurturing and the support that Lily requires to be able to examine the fragments of her life and also begin forging a path for her and achieve a sense of selfhood.
Lily Owens is a woman in search of motherly love and also the companionship and security presented by her mother before her demise (Hebb, 1). It is this that leads to her life of wonder and community and also decides to leave her father and takes the label and a picture of her mother with her as if to hold on to her mother and to take her wherever she went. It is her search for her mothers in others that leads to her good relationship with the Boatwright sisters or rather the beekeeping sisters (Hebb, 2). The women that she meets are exceptional in their way and are also a reflection of the struggles that she went through as well but were a sense of strength for her just like her mother had been. In fact, her mother had gone through appalling times with her father and had decided to leave her just before she had died. It was an indication of the strength and ability that the women held, and it is also the strength that Lily required experiencing in the women to experience the motherly love once again. The women such as August were the fundamental pillars that assist her to discover who she is and also leads to Lily’s personal growth since she is a committed community woman and also a backbone of the community (Hebb, 3-4). It is symbolic of the way that her mother was her backbone and hence she had found the motherly love and companionship that she sort.
Lily is a brave woman and also represents the courageousness and vigilance among the women in the story. She can bring out the strength and the bravery of the women in the society and also in the novel in a vivid manner. Lily is determined to make good of her life, and it is illustrated by the fact that she goes against all the social constructs to live with the women of color as a white girl. She also finds a sense of confidence following her fourteenth birthday and also after her witnessing the strength of Rosaleen as a woman after she confronts racist men in Sylvan. Her mother is also her hero and the reason why she remained strong and was also the reason why she seeks to make good of her life. She further illustrates the strength of the women and their vigilance when she can escape her abusive home. She further goes ahead to show her loyalty to her friends when she risks everything to break Rosaleen out of the jail. Her resolve and determination to find answers regarding her Mother’s death take her to an entirely new town in search of reasons on why she once went there. She goes all the way to Tiburon; California determined to find something despite the probability that her mother Deborah had just passed by as a visitor. All she wanted to find is at least a link to her dead mother.
Lily is a brilliant and intelligent woman throughout the novel. She has a dream of becoming a writer some day and has all it takes. She once was also able to achieve perfect scores on a verbal test that she went through. Upon being f=given a book by Zach, she takes her time and makes an effort to write stories as she tries to shape up her writing career. She is also able to demonstrate her intelligence in the way she fits into the community. The lady who was once lost and confused in search of her identity joins the other women and ends up being an influential and significant part of the community. She becomes a leader in her right.
Lily Owens is the fundamental character in the story. It is her experiences, actions and also the interactions with the other members of society and women that shape up the story. In the book the level of intelligence, bravery, determination and cohesion among the women to beat the adversities is emphasized and also demonstrated in a major way. It is the character of Lily that is also central to bringing out the themes in the story. Moreover, it is clear that the presence of the other women offers the nurturing and support that Lily requires to be able to examine the fragments of her life and also begin forging a path for herself and achieve a sense of selfhood.