The Secret Life of Bees

Author- Sue Monk Kidd

Length- 14 Chapters

After you get stung, you can’t get unstung no matter how much you whine about it…”

This book was like an breathe of fresh air after all the cliche stories I’ve been reading for a while. I wasn’t actually planning on buying it because the cover seemed a bit sciency but the guy standing next to me said it was an amazing book so there it went into my bookbasket.

The story starts with the protagonist Lily, who is unhappy living with her father and caretaker Rosaleen after the death of her mother in one of the town’s of South Carolina. Her father is a very bitter personality and who loves his dog and his peach fields more than his daughter. She keeps on fantasizing her life if her mother would’ve been alive. Rosaleen who happens to be black woman wants to register as an voter after the passing of civil rights act in 1964 but is beaten up and locked in the jail during the process. Lily thinks the only way to help Rosaleen and herself from her father is to run away from her house.

She ends up at the house of Calendar sisters who also happen to be black, in Tiburon, another town of South Carolina following the trails left in her mother’s belongings. Later on Lily finds that her mother was related to August, the eldest sister and learns about beekeeping and and makes new friends. She also learns about her attraction to Zach who is the nephew of August but they are aware of the fact that they can’t be together for the time being. She starts practicing the personal religion of the Calender sisters revolving around Mary, mother of Jesus. In the end, her father finds her out and tries to take her away after remembering how his wife also ran away leaving him but is unsuccessful in front of Lily’s firm resolution to stay there and goes away saying ‘Good riddance’ but we are left wondering was he really happy that Lily was not going back with him?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and totally recommend it to you.


Animal Farm

Author- George Orwell

Length- 10 Chapters

Let’s face it: Our lives are

miserable, laborious and short.

This book is nothing like it sounds. I mean the title makes it sound as if some boring and kiddish story but honestly it’s nothing like it.

The story starts with the assembling of all the animals on the farm at the call of Old Major, an old wise boar. He plants the ideas of freedom and equal lifestyle in the minds of all the animals stating humans are cruel and just use them for their own benefit and while all the work is done by the animals its interest is reaped by the humans.

One fine day, soon after the death of the old major the animals revolt against this tyrannic treatment and drive away the farm owner and his family. They take the farm under own control and rename it from ‘Manor Farm’ to ‘Animal Farm.’ The pigs who are considered to be more wise are chosen to be the leaders and to guide everyone through their farm duties.

Initially, they work together in harmony and the farm prospers but it doesn’t take long for this brotherhood to turn into dictatorship. Throughout the book, there are instances where we can relate to our society how leaders exploit the people under them for their own advantage. This story is written depicting the Russian revolution of 1917 and most of the characters hold the semblance to the political leaders of that period.

The leaders, Napolean and Snowball have their own set of political beliefs and followers, wherein, Napolean is shrewd and Snowball has good intentions. They soon clash leading to Napolean’s guards who happen to be dogs to chase away Snowball. We see how the ‘Seven Commandments’ which were compiled for the welfare of the animals are cleverly changed by Napolean’s disciples throughout the course of the story to suit their needs. The other characters can be related with the nature of the common folk on their reaction to their political leaders where there is Squealer,the pig and faithful of Napolean who uses his oratory skills to manipulate the animals, Molly, the cat who doesn’t want to work and runs away from her responsibilities, Benjamin, the donkey who is literate and understanding but cynical towards life and Boxer, the Horse who is very hard-working but illiterate and quite naive and who is later sent away to get slaughtered for the monetary benefits.

In the end the animals have quite forgotten why they started this revolution and the Pigs or their leaders are hard to distinguish from the horrible human owners what with all their ways now which are very much similar to them.