At first I found this book rather predictable and cliched. Abusive father – checkRunaway teen – checkPoorly portrayed African Americans – checkComing of age – checkFortunately, once you ignored all that, there was some good solid writing and some truly endearing characters. This includes the main character Lily. While Sue Monk Kidd didn't always pull off a believable lead she did manage to make her not as angst ridden as expected and someone you did care about.All of the women in this book are strong and I'm starting to believe the whole steel magnolia hype (no, not the movie). The three sisters were my favourite part of the book. I loved how they didn't let religion bend them but bent religion to suit them. How they have carved out their own niche in life. As beekeepers they kept their independence and have gained an almost zen like existence through their winged charges.Inspirational at times, frustrating at others, this book is well worth the time to read it.