This book was so lovely it made me less terrified of bees. So much so that when I found a bee at work one day instead of trying to kill it, I caught it in a glass and set it free outside. I’ve never done that before. I always just assumed that would piss a bee off and it would come back inside to sting me.
I’ve been stung by bees at least 3 times when I was a kid, all in a traumatic way.
Once when I was in the playground just minding my own beeswax (har har) and I thought I saw a bee fly onto my palm, my hand was facing outward as I was walking/dancing. So, like any right minded child, I wanted to look at the bee but knew that it would sting me so I slow as could be, turned my hand to face me.
It stung me like a jerk and I cried to my second grade teacher who promptly put mud on it and got the stinger out.
The next time was at bible camp and we were having a campfire. It literally flew at my face in attack mode even though I really wasn’t doing anything. My best friend Alina sounded the alarms and the counselors brought me into the kitchen and we iced my upper lip that had swollen quite a bit.
So you can see where I have a distinct dislike of bees.
This book however is about a little girl whose mother is dead, her father physically abuses her, and she’s trying to protect her maid from herself as she is an outspoken black woman in the middle of the south in a time where that wasn’t so easy.
She has a penchant for spilling her tobacco spit on racists’ shoes and they wind up in a whole mess. Mainly, jail.
Lily and Rosaleen run away to a beekeeping farm in search of her mothers’ secrets and a safe place to stay.
Everything about this book is lovely, beautifully written, wonderful characters, and in general just a great story.
I recommend it to everyone from kids to adults.