A girl’s got to read, this all Clutchettes know. So, to help navigate the ever-expanding world of books, Uptown Literati is here to provide a weekly reading list. We’re a fresh, book blog for cool girls and great reads (check us out on our site [uptownliterati.com] and we’ll be dishing on what you need to be reading now: classic tomes, sassy fiction, juicy tell-alls and every type of paperback in between. Happy reading!
Who: Novelist Sue Monk Kidd
What: The Secret Life of Bees, Kidd’s well-loved novel, which was turned into a popular film last summer. Imbuing much of Kidd’s own colorful childhood, the story is narrated by motherless teen Lily Owens. Along with her Black caretaker Rosaleen, the girl is forced to flee her hometown in 1960’s South Carolina and winds up in the care of the eccentric Boatwright sisters, who are a brand of sophisticated African-Americans that Lily has never encountered. She and Rosaleen experience a short, dreamy reprieve from their usual lives, which were previously filled with longing (for Lily) and animosity (for Rosaleen), before more tragedies strike.
Why: Centering on an orphan’s heart-felt discoveries, the book is emotional and earthy, almost to the point of being overly emotional. Although narrated by White Lily, most of the characters are Black and there is a reverential tone to many of the characterizations that borders on being offensive. But despite flaws, the novel is a celebration of family and sisterhood.
Rating: 3 stars