“The Secret Life of Bees” By Sue Monk Kidd (2002); 302 pages
Started reading October 19, finished reading October 25.
This book has been sitting on my bedside table for close to a year, but last week our friend Isa was here, babysitting for Ben. She had brought this book with her and mentioned that the movie was coming out this week. I admit it: hearing that a book is being released as a movie was enough motivation for me to push the book ahead in the queue and read it next. But a good suggestion from Isa, because as she promised, it was a fast read and really good, too.
Many of you who are in book clubs or who read a lot of current fiction have probably gotten to this one already. If you haven’t, you should. And if you read it years ago, it’s not a bad idea to pick it up again this week. You may already know it’s a coming-of-age story about a 14-year-old white girl who finds herself living with a trio of black sisters in 1964 South Carolina. Reading this book – with its horrifying but accurate (I imagine, anyway) descriptions of 1960s race relations, all I could think about was the fact that less that 45 years ago, African-Americans could barely register to vote, and here I am about to cast my vote for the man who should be (and hopefully will be) our first black president. There are about a million reasons why I love Barack Obama that have nothing to do with race, but as I read this book–even as I enjoyed the parts that had less to do about race, and there were plenty of them– I pretty much could not stop thinking about the election. This book made me really, really excited to be a part of history*.
(*See a somewhat related blog post here. You’ll see where I got that last line from.)