The bees came the summer of 1964, the summer I turned fourteen and my life went spinning off into a whole new orbit, and I mean whole new orbit. Looking back on it now, I want to say the bees were sent to me. I want to say they showed up like the angle Gabriel appearing to the Virgin Mary, setting events in motion I could never have guessed. I know it is presumptuous to compare my small life to hers, but I have reason to believe she wouldn't mind; I will get to that. Right now it's enough to say that despite everything that happened that summer, I remain tender toward the bees. An excerpt from the book, The Secret Life of Bees
I read The Secret Life of Bees six years ago. I remember it well, because Selah was two years old and I was in a wheelchair, on an oxygen tank and couldn't feed myself. I couldn't mother Selah like I had imagined I would. I was heartbroken. My family knew it and did everything to make me feel better, including picking up books from the public library for me. Reading was my first love and at the time all I could do--wanted to-- back then was read and escape from my sad reality.
I read that book, and not only did it make me fall in love with writing again, it made me stronger somehow. As you know my health and my maternity has spun onto a whole new orbit.
So when I received an opportunity to prescreen "The Secret Life of Bees" The Movie i missed the first two opportunities. Not because I chose to, of course, but because (1) I had promised to Selah to the Rockdale County Fair and then the second time because I was so under the weather. My health is better, but limiting sometimes.
But I have some good friends, closer than sisters, Rhonda McKnight and Pam Perry as well as Felicia Tanner of Liquid Soul Media(a new sister) who knew where my heart was. They reserved the last two tickets for me and a guest.
My eight-year-old daughter, Selah was my guest. If I told you she was one of Dakota Fanning's biggest fans I would not come close to what she says she feels about the actress.
After watching the movie I am in competition to be her biggest fan.
This movie was beyond sweet, heartwarming, charming, heartheavy, bittersweet, romantic. It was heart opening. Queen Latifah stuck her foot in August Boatwright. Alicia Keys...she personified June's sizzle, spirit and spite so well. Oh my goodness.
Sophie Okonedo wore the world's emotion on that screen. Wow. Brilliant. Angelic. And Jennifer Hudson. When I read the novel I imagined someone else, but boy do I thank Director/Screenwriter Gina Prince-Bythewood for casting her. She was a humbled sister/mother so symbolic of The Black Madonna.
I am so grateful to have lived to have read the novel and thankful to God to have seen it as a movie.
I hope my writer-or-die chicks/Sisters in Christ continue to write compelling, centered stories and believe in the power of the bees.
Advisory: This movie has strong themes that if you bring your child(ren) to see, then prepare to talk with them about those themes and how you as a family have decided to honor your family. Selah and I had a long talk about those issues and we will continue to come back to this conversation as she starts puberty.
My rating: 5 Hallelujah Handclaps
Here an Queen Latifah and Tristan Wilds Talk Secret Life of Bees Here