Dear Sue Monk Kidd,
At first glance your book The Secret Life of Bees looked like every other book I have read; little did I know what I was getting myself into. Reading has always lit a spark inside me that gives me the desire to travel and explore my horizons through imagination. On the contrary The Secret Life of Bees is far from imaginary. Instead if states a strong message of the reality of living in South Carolina in 1964.
Throughout the book, your main character Lily is in search of her identity. This is sometimes a dilemma for her because she knows nothing about her past. I felt strongly connected with Lily because of this one of many journeys she had to take. At the time of reading your book, I was going through many struggles in my life which caused me to lose myself at times. My dog of fourteen years had just died. I also was still troubled with my family moving the previous year. I wasn’t sure where I belong in my new life. The Secret Life of Bees was an outlet for me that helped me through the rough times; I began to walk with a sort of confidence inspired by Lily. I began to learn about myself as a person just as Lily did. I think everyone goes through a journey of self discovery at some point in his or her life, as I did. It only helped me more to know that Lily was right there with me.
I took many of my journeys with Lily. One however, I took with Rosaleen. Though she had many problems, the one I shared with her was how she was treated because of her looks. In the book people tended to treat Rosaleen with complete disrespect, almost as if she were a piece of trash. Some men even spit on her. She is treated like this not because she is a bad person, but the mere fact that she is different; she is black. I have lived long enough to observe that humans can be very cruel when it comes to appearance. I myself have been taunted and picked on because someone thought I was “ugly.” Reading about Rosaleen’s experiences and how she dealt with them only made me stronger as a person. She stood strong and believed in herself even when others didn’t.
Your book has impacted my life greatly and taught me so much. The book was not only a great outlet but it helped me find myself as a person. The Secret Life of Bees was much more than mere ink on paper; it was an endearing and wonderful life long lesson about women empowerment, discrimination, and finding yourself even in the hardest of times. Thank you for the wisdom of your words and the lessons I’ve learned that I will carry with me forever.