Bees: A Brief Summary

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The novel follows a young teenager named Lily on a journey to find out more about her deceased mother. Lily lives with her abusive father, who she refers to as T. Ray, and views her black housekeeper, Rosaleen, as a mother figure. At night, bees swarm in Lily’s room but disappear when T. Ray enters the room. Lily then catches the bees in a jar as proof. She enjoys going out in T. Ray’s peach orchard at night and looking at some of her mother’s belongings, such as a picture of a black Virgin Mary with the town Tiburon, South Carolina written on the back. She believes that she was responsible for her mother’s death and remembers the day in ways a four-year-old might not unless it was very traumatic. Lily recalls her parents fighting, her mother holding a gun but dropping it when T. Ray fought her, and picking it up but she doesn’t remember firing it. One night, she falls asleep and gets caught by T. Ray and is forced to kneel in grits for about an hour and uses the memory of her …show more content…
She does not back down from them, in disagreement with Lily, and pours her bottle of snuff juice on their shoes. Rosaleen is arrested and beaten while Lily is taken back to her father. T. Ray tells her that on the day her mother died, she was just picking up her things and was going to run away and leave Lily with him. After seeing that her bees had left the jar, she learns that she can leave too and runs away. She goes to the hospital Rosaleen is being treated at and lies to get the guard to leave. Lily breaks her out and the two of them run away together to Tiburon, South Carolina so Lily can find out more about her mother. There, she finds out that the black Virgin Mary was a label for a honey farm. Lily comes up with a story asks the owners of the farm if she and Rosaleen could stay there. The owners, Autumn Boatright and her two sisters, agree as long as Lily and Rosaleen work for them which they begin to

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