I am thrilled to say that Sue Monk Kidd and her novel, The Secret Life of Bees, officially ended my reading funk. I have been in need of a 'better-than-okay' book all summer and here it is!From the cover, to the characters, to the rich, lovely story line, this book is great. I didn't want to stop reading, even for a second.Lily Owens is 14 years old and already she has plenty to ponder and grieve in her life. Her mother died under mysterious circumstances when she was four, and her father, T. Ray, has been less than loving as her caregiver.Rosaleen steps in to help care for little Lily after the tragedy and the two form a bond. When Rosaleen gets in a little bit of legal trouble, readers will see just how strong that bond had become.The Boatwright sisters are a force and when Rosaleen and Lily stumble into their world, life begins to take on new meaning for both of them. Kidd tells a tale of pain and grief, of strength and love, of loss and renewal, of faith and change. I stepped into the South and lived out this story with the bright characters - feeling their pain and their joy. Additionally, Kidd weaves in lots of bee facts that are both interesting and uniquely tied to the story and its cast of characters.