The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd
Contributed by Vernita Mires
Chapter Summaries
Timeline
Chapter Summaries Table
Chapter Summary
Chapter 1

It is the summer of 1964 and Lily Owens is lying in her bed watching bees squeeze in and out of cracks in her walls. She is fourteen this summer. L...

Chapter 2

The men meet Rosaleen and Lily at the police station. In front of the police officer, the men beat Rosaleen again. T. Ray comes for Lily and races ...

Chapter 3

While Rosaleen sleeps, Lily thinks about the Virgin Mary. Lily does not know much about her because Mary is not an important figure in her church.<...

Chapter 4

Lily and Rosaleen stand across the street from the pink house, watching August work with the bees. Nervously, they go to the door. Lily and Rosalee...

Chapter 5

The first week at the Boatwright house is a relief for Lily. Lily spends her time in the bee house and Rosaleen spends her time with May. May and R...

Chapter 6

One morning Lily finds the tallest man she has ever seen in the yard. May tells Lily that his name is Neil and he and June are sweet on each other....

Chapter 7

Lily is upset that Zach is returning to work because she has enjoyed her time alone with August. Lily first sees Zach singing “Viva Las Vegas” ...

Chapter 8

As Lily and August are labeling jars of honey, they talk. Lily tells August that she never pictured the Madonna as black. August tells Lily that sh...

Chapter 9

Tiburon is in the midst of a heat wave. Lily and August take sugar water to the hives to save the bees. Later, after lunch, Lily and August see May...

Chapter 10

Twenty minutes after May leaves, August decides they should go after her. The women walk together and call May’s name. Lily is surprised to hear ...

Chapter 11

After May’s burial, August shuts down the bee work. She and June take their meals in their rooms and remain distant. Lily wishes she could talk t...

Chapter 12

Lily waits to speak with August in August’s bedroom. Lily looks around the room and through some books. One book is filled with various pictures ...

Chapter 13

After August leaves, Lily cries and cries. In a fit of rage Lily begins throwing things, including jars of honey. Lily is shaken awake by Rosaleen ...

Chapter 14

Lily spends a lot of time alone after August’s gives her Deborah’s things. She thinks about how hard it is to forgive. August tells Lily to gri...

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