Review: The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin

The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin

Synopsis and Details:

Forty-four-year-old Alice Holtzman is stuck in a dead-end job, bereft of family, and now reeling from the unexpected death of her husband. Alice has begun having panic attacks whenever she thinks about how her life hasn’t turned out the way she dreamed. Even the beloved honeybees she raises in her spare time aren’t helping her feel better these days.

In the grip of a panic attack, she nearly collides with Jake–a troubled, paraplegic teenager with the tallest mohawk in Hood River County–while carrying 120,000 honeybees in the back of her pickup truck. Charmed by Jake’s sincere interest in her bees and seeking to rescue him from his toxic home life, Alice surprises herself by inviting Jake to her farm.

And then there’s Harry, a twenty-four-year-old with debilitating social anxiety who is desperate for work. When he applies to Alice’s ad for part-time farm help, he’s shocked to find himself hired. As an unexpected friendship blossoms among Alice, Jake, and Harry, a nefarious pesticide company moves to town, threatening the local honeybee population and illuminating deep-seated corruption in the community. The unlikely trio must unite for the sake of the bees–and in the process, they just might forge a new future for themselves.

Beautifully moving, warm, and uplifting, The Music of Bees is about the power of friendship, compassion in the face of loss, and finding the courage to start over (at any age) when things don’t turn out the way you expect.

Genres: Contemporary, Literary Fiction |  Release Date: April 27, 2021  |  Publisher: Dutton Books  |  Length: 336 pages  |  ISBN: 978-0593183922  |  ASIN: B08GJFWYMM   |  Format: Hardcover  |  Source: Purchased

Review with Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Music of Bees is an enjoyable story that focuses on three main characters and the unlikely bond they form. I had been very excited to read this book and I will say that I was surprised about what it was that stood out most to me. I was expecting to have an emotional journey because of Alice’s struggle with panic attacks and loss, or with the aftermath of Jake’s accident and his home life, or even with Harry’s failure to launch but what really snagged my interest was the bees. Not kidding but more on that in a bit. 

I truly liked Alice, Jake, and Harry as characters. As I had said, I had hoped for an emotional experience with them but, though their stories all had depth, on the whole it lacked the emotional intensity I was hoping for. What this story does provide is a delightful reading experience with quirky characters, realistic small-town living, and an environmental message you can really get behind. I did connect with the characters and this story left me feeling really good about their outcomes which is why I think it is a delightful book. 

Now onto the bees, also, sidetone, don’t you just love this cover? I think it is really subdued but pretty. I can’t say I know much about bees or beekeeping but The Music of Bees conveyed a ton of information that was fascinating. I have read many books with beekeeping being a main element but how the material was introduced in this story really sparked my interest to know more about it. I was surprised with how much there actually is to know about the subject. Overall, The Music of Bees was a story that had many wonderful moments, was educational, and was very heartwarming.

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About the Author:

Eileen Garvin is a writer and a beekeeper. Her memoir, How to be a Sister was published in 2010. She lives in Oregon with her husband, a dog, a cat and 60,000 honeybees. 

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The Music of Bees


Categories: Published in 2021, Review

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2 replies

  1. great review! this books sounds like a good read, i’m glad you enjoyed it.

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