Fourteen-year-old Lily lost her mother in a gun accident ten years ago and has lived a decade of loneliness and abuse at the hands of her father. Set in the turbulent 1960s, The Secret Life of Bees gives the reader a look at what it was like to be African American in the southern United States as Lily and her nanny run away from home. In her debut novel, Sue Monk Kidd follows Lily as she is taken in by three black, bee-keeping sisters in South Carolina. She explores Lily's search for the truth about her mother; her courage to tear down racial barriers; and her joy as she claims her place within a community of women. As she enters their mesmerizing secret world of bees and honey, she discovers a place where she can find the single thing her heart longs for most.