The book The Secret Life of Bees Lily's father finds out where Lily and Rosaleen have gone and tracks them down. He is confronted by the strong presence of August Boatwright. However, Lily tells her that she needs to talk with her father herself. They sit in the den while he cuts into the arm of the wooden rocker.
T.J. looks stunned when he sees the whale pin on Lily's shoulder and questions her as to how she had gotten it. She then explains to him that the house is where her mother had come when she had left them once. She also tells him that August used to take care of her mother when her mother was a little girl. As she hears her father talking about her mother, for the first time Lily realizes that he had actually loved her mother.
When Lily resist to leave T.J hits her hard. The statue of Mary fell to the floor. T.J. kicked her and called her Deborah, her mother's name and tells her she is not leaving him again. Lily yelled out daddy and he came to his senses.
August asks him to leave Lily with them so she could be her apprentice. T.J is fed up and rLily realizes that he doesn't really want her. T.J. leaves and lets Lily stay with August.
Clayton, the lawyer, works on Rosaleen's case so that things back home will work out. They stay with August. He also brings his daughter to play with Lily. Lily gets teased at school and called "a nigger lover" but she doesn't care. She gets to see Zach in the hallway and she is happy. In her home she now feels her mother’s presence.