main • all books
The Secret Life of Bees

Though I'd done bee patrol with Zach, I hadn't been back to the hives with August since that first time. I pulled on long cotton pants that used to be June's and August's white shirt, which needed the sleeves rolled up about ten turns. Then I placed the jungle helmet on my head, letting the veil fall down over my face.

We walked to the woods beside the pink house with her stories still pulled soft around our shoulders. I could feel them touching me in places, like an actual shawl.

"There's one thing I don't get," I said.

"What's that?"

"How come if your favorite color is blue, you painted your house so pink?"

She laughed. "That was May's doing. She was with me the day I went to the paint store to pick out the color. I had a nice tan color in mind, but May latched on to the this sample called Caribbean Pink. She said it made her feel like dancing a Spanish flamenco. I thought, "Well, this is the tackiest color I've ever seen, and we'll have half the town talking about us, but if we can lift May's heart like that, I guess she ought to live inside it."

"All this time I just figured you liked pink."

She laughed again. "You know, some things don't matter that much, Lily. Like the color of a house. How big is that in the overall scheme of life? But lifting a person's heart - now, that matters. The whole problem with people is -"

"They don't know what matters and what doesn't," I said, filling in her sentence and feeling proud of myself for doing so.

"I was gonna say, The problem is they know what matters, but they don't choose it. You know how hard that is, Lily? I love May, but it was still so hard to choose Caribbean Pink. The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters."

It took me a while to get into The Secret Life of Bees but once I did, I absolutely loved it. It was beautifully written and the characters were three-dimensional and easy to love.
©2005 karenika.com