The Question and Answer section for The Secret Life of Bees is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Lilly has a lot of nightmares. At night she dreams of dying and asking her mother for forgiveness.
There are many themes that you can consider. I'm partial to "Bees as Models of Human Society". You can check it out at the GradeSaver link below:
Lily's relationship with her father is volatile to say the least. He drinks too much and blames her for her mother's death. He is hard on Lily, she feels no love, and she feels as if she's completely unwanted.