Free Study Guide for The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd|
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The sisters practice a religion they have created themselves and share with a group called The Daughters of Mary. The women pray to a statue of a black Mary that they call Our Lady of Chains.
During her time in the pink house, Lily comes to practice this religion with the women. She loves these women and life in the pink house. Lily comes to feel accepted by the black women. Even June befriends her, eventually. She falls in love with August’s helper, Zach. Zach is an African-American boy, which complicates Lily’s feelings for him. One day, one of Zach’s friends throws a bottle at a white man. Because none of the boys will admit who threw the bottle, they all go to jail. The women try to keep Zach’s imprisonment a secret from May, for whom it would be too much to handle. However, May finds out from a phone call that Zach is in jail and is unable to deal with it. May commits suicide by drowning herself in the river.
May’s friends and family are devastated by her death. Some good things come out of it, however. June decides to marry Neil--a man she has dated for years but always refused to marry because she was hurt once by someone else. Eventually life returns to normal in the pink house and Lily thinks about how she will have to tell August the truth soon. In the meantime, Lily and Zach kiss and he promises they will be together one day. Eventually Lily tells August who she really is. It turns out that August already knew, because she knew Lily’s mother. August worked for Deborah’s family when Deborah was a child. Years later, after Lily was born, Deborah left T. Ray and came to stay with August. August said Deborah was going back to get Lily and then she was going to divorce T. Ray. When she went home, she died. Lily is outraged and saddened to learn that Deborah left her with T. Ray. August tries to explain that Freeah was depresseGuide not thinking clearly, but Lily cannot forgive her.
One day, Lily is home alone and T. Ray comes to the door. He found out where she was because she called him collect once. T. Ray went to the place she called from and a woman told him where she was. T. Ray demands that Lily come home with him. When T. Ray notices the pin Lily is wearing--a pin he gave Deborah--Lily explains that Deborah came to the pink house when she left him. T. Ray goes into a rage and beats Lily, all the while calling her Deborah. August and Rosaleen return to the house. August tells T. Ray that Lily can stay ly. T. Ray agrees and leaves. Lily chases his car and asks him if she was responsible for her mother’s death. T. Ray says it was an accident, but Lily killed her.
Lily finally learns to forgive her mother and herself. She is happy
living with August. She goes to school with Zach. Lily learns the importance
of female communities and that women can be mothers to each other.
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TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on The Secret Life of Bees".
. 09 May 2017