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Once Upon a Time in Tiburon

            Romance is among the things human beings live with every day, and it turns all dull moments of our life into glamorous pleasure. Romance does not give warning, does not choose color, race, class or even personal beliefs. It is not stoppable when it comes, and it is something so magical and incomprehensible that cannot be separated from human life, and remains blind. The novel, “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd revolves around this theme, telling the story of a white girl, Lily Owens, falling in love with a black boy, Zachary Lincoln. This happens despite the racial segregation and prejudice between blacks and whites, during the time it was set, in 1964, in South Carolina. Such a situation is common in the current world, but not during such a time when racial segregation was so rampant. This novel illustrates how romance can change people’s beliefs.

Sue Monk Kidd is an author of other books and pieces of literature such as The Dance of the Dissident Daughter and When the Heart Waits, which have won awards in poetry and writing, such as the Katherine Anne Porter Award. An excerpt from this novel The Secret Life of Bees was chosen as one of the best American short stories. In addition, it managed a nomination for the Orange Prize for fiction in England. The secret life of bees was her first novel to be published, in 2002 and sold over 6 million copies. She has been recognized by many, and won more awards such as the homecoming award, that was awarded by Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers, Oklahoma State University – Tulsa. This is a highlight of her credibility in writing.

During this time the novel is set, conditions around racism are still harsh with racial segregation still deep rooted. It is just after the introduction of the civil rights act, amid resistance from white people who still want to maintain the status quo. When a romance develops between Lily and Zachary, things get worse for them. Due to their racial differences, the two youngsters experience a lot of problems and limitations in their relationship. This is an illustration of how race discrimination is quite a critical issue in this era unlike it is today.

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