Doherty Summer Reading Program returns for the second year, and we’re reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. Anyone who’s grown up in the South will relate to the images of moist, humid heat in the novel which takes place in South Carolina in the summer of 1964. Sweat drips down backs just as condensation drips down glasses of ice water. There’s a sweetness in the air mixed with damp earthiness in the cloying humidity. The main character, fourteen year old Lily Owens, spends most of her days working in the honey house or sleeping in the un-airconditioned room connected to it. She’s come to this place, where three Black women known as “the calendar girls” produce Black Madonna honey, in search of her mother and her self.
The Secret Life of Bees is definitely a woman centered book, and the characters depend upon a woman centered theology, grounded in the person of the Virgin Mother, to hold everything together. Told from the point of view of a female, the story is still a universal one of growing up and accepting the dark side of life, one’s parents and one’s self. (Sorry guys if the book seems too girly. I promise next year we’ll read Truck: a Love Story or something else manly.)
Our first event is Thursday, May 28th at 4:00 in Doherty Library for light refreshments including among other items coca-cola and salted peanuts, peaches, pimento cheese, honey and bananas. On Thursday June 25th we’ll have our first discussion at the Black Lab, and on Thursday July 30th we’ll have a viewing of the recent film and discussion (place to be announced). You do not have to attend all the events to participate.
We will have incentive prizes at the May 28th event. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-525-3891 for more information.