The secret life of bees
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Lily's mother and T. Ray had seemingly been truly in love when they first began their relationship. August tells Lily that Deborah said that T. Ray treated her like a princess, and they conceived a child. Deborah finally agreed to marry T. Ray after she was pregnant. Yet, at some point in their marriage, their relationship turned sour. Deborah fell into depression, the cause of which is uncertain. Deborah eventually left her Sylvan home with Lily to escape to Tiburon. Lily determines that when Deborah left, it must have effectively killed T. Ray, which would explain his harsh attitude and bitterness. Additionally, Deborah's death must have caused T. Ray great sadness. Now that Lily has grown to be a teenager, she looks more and more like Deborah. T. Ray takes out his anger towards Deborah on Lily, most clearly demonstrated at the end of the novel, when he actually addresses Lily as Deborah.