I was recommended this book by a friend,The Invention of Wings being the previous book by the author that I really enjoyed.I went ahead and put in a request for it immediately(given the high ratings by both friends and strangers as well as the precedent the other book set). The story is set in 1964, it effectively begins when the Civil Rights act is passed and people of colour could register to vote.
The lead protagonist that we are to be very familiar with is Lily Owens,currently a teenager but we get enough glimpses of her childhood to know more about her.Her caretaker/ surrogate mother is a black woman called Rosaleen.Lily has faint recollections of what happened to her mother, the absence of whom has created an untenable void within her.When events snowball into chaos, Lily makes up her mind to follow the one clue she has to her late mother’s life.She takes a chance and lands in the middle of the life of the ‘calendar’ sisters(the explanation of which is better as part of the book). The lives of sisters revolve around the bees which are predominantly under the care of the elder sister. What happens next is the story (revealing anything further would be a very wrong thing to do!).
The book focuses of the unreliability of logic in the middle of emotion. The conversation one has with oneself when making a discovery about what we have so far perceived as an absolute ( to a large degree).It reaches right into the core values and fears of Lily(and a few of the others as well). The prose is neither poetic to the extreme nor preachy, but it has an undeniable quality to it which will definitely endear it to anyone who gives it more thought than originally planned at the start of the reading.