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The Secret Life of Bees

by Sue Monk Kidd

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Why does June continue to reject Neil and why is May against her rejection?

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June continues to reject Neil because she was about to marry someone else but was left at the altar. According to May, "June swore off men and said she would never get married" (page 152). June met Neil when he became the principal at her school, and even though she spends a great deal of time with him, she refuses to risk getting married to him. He asks June to marry him, but she continually turns him down. May, however, wants June to marry Neil because she wants her sister to be happy. May has clinical depression, and she mourns the death of her twin sister, April. May's death convinces June to get married. In the suicide note that she leaves her sisters, she writes, "It's my time to die, and it's your time to live. Don't mess it up" (page 303). This note finally convinces June to marry Neil, as May's tragedy moves her to find happiness in life.

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