Cover Image: The Music of Bees

The Music of Bees

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Member Reviews

Loved this book. Characters were great and it was lovely to read the bond developing between them. Also fascinating learning about the bees. Highly recommend
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The music of bees by Eileen Garvin  is a mesmerising read, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Alice is a widow and she has a small holding where she keeps bees as a hobby.  She ends up having two young men staying with her to help her with the bees. It is a wonderful storyline, full of images of bees, orchards and the sea.
The characters are also wonderfully drawn and are interesting and engaging. Alice, Jake and Harry all have their tales to tell but they find a home with Alice and have work that is meaningful to each of them.
Highly recommended.
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I had high hopes for this one, after being attracted to the gorgeous cover, and seeing the amazing reviews that had already been submitted.
This one just didn't drag me into the story, and the content devoted to bees freaked me out a little! (I have a phobia of buzzing things!)
I perhaps am not in the right frame of mind for it at the moment, as the plot seemed right up my street but am struggling personally and I need something to grab me and not let go.
It is nevertheless an impressive debut, and I will try another time. I want to love it!
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The Music of Bees focuses on three strangers; Alice, a hobbyist beekeeper struggling to cope with grief and anxiety after the death of her husband; Jake, who is still getting to grips with using a wheelchair after becoming paraplegic in his senior year; and Harry, a shy and awkward ex-felon living in his uncle's run down trailer, attempting to navigate a life with a criminal record and no real home or money. 

Alice and Jake meet in the most unlikely of circumstances resulting in Alice taking Jake on as her beekeeping "apprentice". Harry applies to join the team as he's desperately in need of a job with no background checks. As the three begin caring for Alice's hives together, they're forced to confront their personal issues and the shared interest helps them in more ways than they could have expected...

As I imagined, The Music of Bees is a wholesome and heartwarming story of friendship and personal growth. Each character's development is well executed and I found myself learning more about beekeeping than I anticipated which was a welcome surprise. The themes of bee preservation are so relevant; the three characters protest against the introduction of a pesticide deadly to bees which I think is an important real-life issue.

I felt as though Alice and Jake's characters had more focus while Harry was kinda left as a secondary character - I would have loved to know more about his family life. Some elements of the story were chaotic and felt directionless, with a lot of character names thrown in and then disappearing soon after. 

Regardless, The Music of Bees is a life-affirming and enjoyable read - I definitely recommend!
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A really moving story, so beautiful. Jake is badly injured by falling from a balcony and he is confined to a wheelchair. But he does not let this hold him back. He meets Alice, a woman in her mid-forties, alone, only with bees for company. He runs into her, and they form a friendship. She takes him in and teaches him about beekeeping. Harry has made some poor decisions and unfortunately has endured the consequences. When he’s out of jail, he finds himself joining Alice and Jake in their beekeeping ventures. Sweet book.
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This book tells the story of three characters whose lives intertwine at a beekeeping farm. They are each dealing with their own losses and anxieties. 

I enjoyed the quotes about bees at the beginning of each chapter and how this went on to relate to the plot in places. I felt the book moved at a good, solid pace, spending time with each of the characters individually and learning more about their backstories until their lives merge. There is grief, there is loneliness and there is anxiety but there is also an uplifting side.

I did enjoy this book and I would recommend it to those I feel wouldn't get too lost in the beekeeping aspect. I have scored 3.5 stars because although the plot is good, I just felt something was missing. I wanted to feel the emotion of the grief, I wanted to feel the passion of the protesters trying to stop the pesticide company, but I couldn't, the writing fell a little flat for me. I do think it will make a wonderful film if the opportunity arises. 

My thanks go to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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I loved how the chapters started with quotations, which i assume comes from a book about Bees or BeeKeeping? The words worked well with the story as well as seeing them about life. I did feel it was a bit slow to start with but I am so glad i powered on and finished this book, I loved the characters stories. Defininately a heart warming, feel good book
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A story of 3 people coming together who, each for their own reasons, don't feel their place in the world. 

This book is pure, feel good joy and a whacking great dose of positivity. Not my usual read (I have no idea why not, it should be!) but I am a happier person for having read it.
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A bit slow to get going but turned out to be a lovely story with memorable characters. I really enjoyed it.
Thanks to NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to read this book.
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4.5 stars

The Music Of Bees is contemporary fiction set in the small American town of Hood River, Oregon.
Jake is angry and depressed after a stupid prank left him with a broken spine. Now instead of riding his skateboard, he spends his days alone in a wheelchair.

Harry is drifting through life, full of worry and indecision. He lives in a condemned trailer with his great uncle, but he really needs a job, so he applies for a handyman advert with a local beekeeper.

Alice is a widow; she keeps bees and works in the county planning office. Since her husband’s unexpected death, Alice has panic attacks, but the bees help to soothe her pain. Alice meets Jake on the roadside after an ‘almost accident’; they bond over the bees. Jake’s natural musical ear picks up the bee’s humming and he can tune into their temperament.

Suddenly Jake has a purpose in life; the bees fascinate him and he becomes a quick student. When Harry’s uncle dies and he is evicted from the trailer, he awkwardly finds himself on Alice’s doorstep too.

This is a lovely story in a small town setting with a wonderful bee theme. My father keeps bees, so I was nodding along to much of the bee detail. Each chapter began with a quotation from an old beekeeping book; they were prudent words which worked really well with the story. The author keeps bees herself and this shone through in the narrative. I also enjoyed the coming-of-age style tales of Jake and Harry and Alice’s own personal growth. I thought that the ending was a little rushed, but that was only a minor point, and it didn’t deter from my overall enjoyment of the book.
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A delightful book! A bit slow to get going, I nearly put it down after the first few chapters but I am sooooo glad I didn't. The group of characters that a brought toghter around Alice and her bees are amazing with wonderul stories to tell. A must read.
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The Music Of Bees was an absolute gem of a book - Eileen Garvin has definitely set the bar high with her debut novel!

Following the story of unlikely friends brought together in unlikely circumstances; a paraplegic teenager with a rather impressive mohawk, an anxious and unemployed 24 year old and a 44 year old widow who finds her peace  in beekeeping. When a collision and job advert bring Jake, Harry and Alice together at the Apiary and finally gives them all something to fight for - saving Alices' beloved bees. 

A heartwarming, uplifting and glisteningly hopeful tale.
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