Southern Reading Challenge, Herding Cats
I've seen this book listed on every list of books where people get to nominate their favorite books, and now I know why. Set in South Carolina in 1964, against the civil rights backdrop, it is the story of a young girl trying to find someone to care about her, a mother to love her. Lily runs away from her widowed father, T Ray, with her black housekeeper, as Lily is looking for some connection to her mother. She ends up at a pink house with three black bee keeping sisters in a neighbouring community. There she learns about bees, love, forgiveness, and mothers.
I would put this one on the short list of books worth reading again. The spiritual level of looking for forgiveness and finding love within yourself, as exemplified with the Black Madonna Mary was beautiful. The writing of Kidd to set the scene of South Carolina in the summer was breath taking, and I couldn't wait to immerse myself in her world every time I picked up the book. The voice of the narrator was wise and yet oh so human, with emotions of love and jealousy and anger. But the overall strength of the women was my favorite part, and an antidote after the past few books I've read. It made me proud to be a woman and see some amazing girl power.
Having said that about girl power, T Ray and his cranky foul moods and his behavior at the end made me really wonder about him. What was he like when Lily's mom met him? How did he deal with her abandonment and then death? What were his thoughts about Lily? He is a character that I would like to read this story of from his perspective. Did he analyze his actions and their ramifications afterward? I just feel there was a lot more to T Ray, and he could star in his own novel.
If you've written a review of this book, leave me a link in the comments.