The story takes place in a little Southern town in the 1960′s. The heroine, Lily Owens, is a teenager who feels more at home in the company of blacks than whites, mainly because the only person in her life who cares about her is Rosaleen, the family’s maid. When Rosaleen gets into a spot of trouble with the law, Lily decides it’s a good time to run away from home and try and learn something about her deceased mother in the process. She and Rosaleen head for Tiburon, South Carolina, where they ingratiate themselves with the town’s trio of beekeeping sisters (who of course knew Lily’s mother). While living with the sisters they start new lives, learn about bees, and become converts to the sisters’ own brand of religion.
That’s basically it. I kept waiting for some plot to come jumping out at me, but it didn’t. Nothing interesting happens to these people, and the things that do happen feel completely contrived and predictable. Nothing about this book surprised me, and the underlying theme about the bees reflecting their lives, blahda blahda, was SO tedious. The characters themselves felt very flat–I honestly had a hard time caring about any of them. There is a spark of romance between Lily and Zach, a black teenager who works for the sisters, but even that never really went anywhere.
Please, someone tell me why this book is so popular. I just don’t get it.
Edited to say: I just read back through this review and it comes across as really crabby. I’m just tired, so I’m gonna go take a nap. But I still didn’t like the darn book.