Welcome back for another Worldwide Wednesday, the series where every week I choose a book from a different country and talk about it!
In today’s Worldwide Wednesday we’re travelling to… South Carolina.
Ages ago I read the brilliant book ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ by Sue Monk Kidd, and this book is set in South Carolina. The story starts on a peach farm there, and the author also lives there- with the deep South and its attitudes a key feature of the entire novel.
‘The Secret Life of Bees’ follows the journey of a young girl, Lily, who runs away with her maid, Rosaleen, when her violent father’s behaviour gets too much- and also when Rosaleen gets in trouble with the police for standing up to a white man.
While running away, she stumbles upon a family of African American sisters who make and sell honey, and with whom she feels an unusual affinity. Lily soon creates friendships with the sisters, and she begins to understand the African American community, as well as grows close to those who are part of this community.
This book is set in the 1960s, and so the fact that this family are all black is a key point. The racism and segregation of the deep South in the 1960s play a key role in the problems that the family face, and the unusual aspect of Lily’s relationship with the women.
While reading the book, I often found it uncomfortable and difficult to read about the segregation and prejudice of the 1960s in South Carolina, and the issues of this period for African Americans.
One of the things I loved about this book was the friendship between the sisters and Lily, as well as the friendship and love between each of the sisters. Each of the sisters had a completely different personality, and I couldn’t help but love the crazy sister May, as well as the wise character of August… and of course, the sass of Alicia Keys as June in the film was brilliant!
The fact that these women protected Lily, despite the racism of her social group and her background was also lovely, and their bonding was just brilliant, and it made me so happy.
Overall, I loved this book, and I thought that the deep South, particularly South Carolina, was a key part of it, and the fact that Sue Monk Kidd lives in South Carolina came across by the research and detail regarding the position of African Americans, and the lack of options open to African Americans at this time.
I also love the film version of this book, you can find out more here.
What do you think of my fourth Worldwide Wednesday? Have you read any books set in South Carolina? Do you enjoy reading books from different places in the world?
Let me know in the comments below 🙂
Happy reading x
Picture credits here