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The Music of Bees

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A heartwarming debut novel for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, following three lonely strangers in a rural Oregon town, each working through grief and life's curveballs, who are brought together by happenstance on a local honeybee farm where they find surprising friendship, healing--and maybe even a second chance--just when they least expect it. Forty-four-y A heartwarming debut novel for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, following three lonely strangers in a rural Oregon town, each working through grief and life's curveballs, who are brought together by happenstance on a local honeybee farm where they find surprising friendship, healing--and maybe even a second chance--just when they least expect it. 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.


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A heartwarming debut novel for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, following three lonely strangers in a rural Oregon town, each working through grief and life's curveballs, who are brought together by happenstance on a local honeybee farm where they find surprising friendship, healing--and maybe even a second chance--just when they least expect it. Forty-four-y A heartwarming debut novel for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, following three lonely strangers in a rural Oregon town, each working through grief and life's curveballs, who are brought together by happenstance on a local honeybee farm where they find surprising friendship, healing--and maybe even a second chance--just when they least expect it. 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.

30 review for The Music of Bees

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    I love getting lost in a story and this author is a great storyteller. The characters in this novel are unique and brought together by unusual circumstances! I grew to love our three main characters and how they came together and drew strength from each other. Alice has been stuck in a job where she is not appreciated nor compensated for all of her hard work. Since her husband passed away she has found solace in beekeeping. What a wonderful world of bees she presents to the reader. I was entrance I love getting lost in a story and this author is a great storyteller. The characters in this novel are unique and brought together by unusual circumstances! I grew to love our three main characters and how they came together and drew strength from each other. Alice has been stuck in a job where she is not appreciated nor compensated for all of her hard work. Since her husband passed away she has found solace in beekeeping. What a wonderful world of bees she presents to the reader. I was entranced. Jake is a teen who has lost not only the use of his legs in a freak accident, but also his love of life and sense of purpose. He is living unhappily with his parents. His mom is very supportive but his dad is clearly disappointed in him. Harry is a 24 year old young man who doesn’t know what he wants from life and hasn’t been able to find a decent job. He has terrible social anxiety which doesn’t help his situation. After a near collision on the road with Harry’s wheelchair, Alice invites Jake into her home. At first Jake wanted to stay with her to get away from his father, however he soon finds himself loving the apiary and the bees. He ends up being a great helper for Alice. Harry answers an ad that Alice places for help and these three very different people are connected. The descriptions of the beautiful apple orchards and rural Oregon were almost a character in themselves. I think I would love it there. This novel is about fighting for what is right which is shown in Alice’s campaign against dangerous chemicals which are being sold to the orchard farmers but are killing the bees. Both Jake and Harry along with local beekeepers are able to stage a protest and eventually lead a fight against a powerful pesticide company that would ultimately destroy not only the bees habitat but the orchards . . . .no bees to pollinate, no apples!!!!!!!!!! There is friendship, loyalty and the joy of finding a way to start over in life in this novel. I enjoyed it immensely. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Oh what joy! I needed this novel, after the cumbersome one I previously finished. This suited my needs: fluffy with spirit and heart; fluffy with clever intelligence; fluffy with quirky characters; fluffy with an uplifting ending. “The Music of Bees” was listed as most anticipated book in 2021 by numerous organizations. It was “Good Morning America’s” Buzz pick, as a heartwarming and uplifting story. Sometimes, one craves that, and I needed this read. It deserves all the press. Author Eileen Garv Oh what joy! I needed this novel, after the cumbersome one I previously finished. This suited my needs: fluffy with spirit and heart; fluffy with clever intelligence; fluffy with quirky characters; fluffy with an uplifting ending. “The Music of Bees” was listed as most anticipated book in 2021 by numerous organizations. It was “Good Morning America’s” Buzz pick, as a heartwarming and uplifting story. Sometimes, one craves that, and I needed this read. It deserves all the press. Author Eileen Garvin is a beekeeper living in Hood River Oregon. This story takes place in the same place and centers around bee keeping, and she uses her authentic knowledge to pen a captivating story. Bees have captured the attention of many authors, many of those novels I have read. This novel makes you want to become a beekeeper. I learned an abundant amount about bees and their life. Also, it brought the toxic use of pesticides to my attention. Bees are not a fan. Learning about bees is the background. The story revolves around three characters who, by chance, form an unlikely alliance. Garvin writes her quirky characters with adept skill. They are realistically flawed and human. Each character possesses life burdens that are heartbreaking, yet they persist. If there is a flaw, tiny as it may be, it is in the neat bow that the story is wrapped into at the end. Reality ended at the end, yet, don’t we all deserve a happy ending, one that is a bit unrealistic? Perhaps that is what makes it a bit fluffy. Fluff has its place in life and in our reading collection.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Irena BookDustMagic

    At first glance, The Music of Bees grabbed my attention. The beautiful yet simple cover made me curious about the story inside, and as I was reading it's premise, I got a feeling it is beautifully written literary fiction. In a way, I can blame myself for having my hopes so high, as there weren't so many reviews out there at the time. The story follows three characters, Alice, Harry and Jake. If I am being completely honest, I didn't click with any of them at first. I wasn't a fan of the way Alice a At first glance, The Music of Bees grabbed my attention. The beautiful yet simple cover made me curious about the story inside, and as I was reading it's premise, I got a feeling it is beautifully written literary fiction. In a way, I can blame myself for having my hopes so high, as there weren't so many reviews out there at the time. The story follows three characters, Alice, Harry and Jake. If I am being completely honest, I didn't click with any of them at first. I wasn't a fan of the way Alice and Jake met each other, and I feel like Harry was big mystery, like we didn't get to really see him, understand him. It took 60% of the book for me to really get into the story. That reflected on my reading pace as well. I read those slow 60% for days (when I say days, I mean more than a week), and the last 40% I finished in a day. I loved how bees were present through the story and I feel like I've learned a lot about them. I was thinking how the author did a really good job researching, but then I read that she actually is a bee farmer, so that makes more sense. She obviously knew what she was writing about. In the end, I want to mention that one character has disability (jake) and is in a wheelchair. I can't speak from personal experience (although I had to be in wheelchair for two months after the car accident), but I feel like the character is described respectively and fairly.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    3.5 stars Bees. Strangers. Friendship. Community. The Music of Bess (that cover!) is about three people who have nothing in common forming friendships with each other all while working at a local honeybee farm! Forty-four Alice is reeling from the unexpected death of her husband. She works in a dead-end job and keeps bees in her spare time. She has begun having panic attacks when thinking about her life. While bringing home some Honeybees she almost hits Jake in his wheelchair. Jake suffers a tragic 3.5 stars Bees. Strangers. Friendship. Community. The Music of Bess (that cover!) is about three people who have nothing in common forming friendships with each other all while working at a local honeybee farm! Forty-four Alice is reeling from the unexpected death of her husband. She works in a dead-end job and keeps bees in her spare time. She has begun having panic attacks when thinking about her life. While bringing home some Honeybees she almost hits Jake in his wheelchair. Jake suffers a tragic injury in high school which leaves him a paraplegic. He also happens to have the highest mohawk in Hood River County and is living unhappily with his parents. While out in his wheelchair, he is almost run over by Alice. Due to his interest in her bees coupled with a toxic home environment, Alice offers Jake a job. Henry is a twenty-four-year-old with social anxiety disorder. He wants/needs to find a job and responds to a part time position that Alice has posted. He is shocked when he is hired. He has a secret and isn't quite ready to share it. They have nothing in common, and yet bees (and Alice) bring them together. They become friends and give each other that human connection that all people need. They are further drawn together when a pesticide company moves to town and threatens the honeybee population. Anxiety plays a part in the story as does the need for connection, community, finding purpose, feeling useful and belonging. Each chapter begins with facts about bees so you may learn some information on them as well. This was a solid and touching debut which does not disappoint. Is it predictable? Yes, but that did not affect my enjoyment or the journey this book takes readers on. We see each character grow and bloom when they get to know each other and ban together to fight for the bees. Heartwarming, captivating and moving. Thank you to Penguin Group Dutton and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susanne

    Review posted on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... First, a huge thank you to #GoodreadsGiveaway for this book. To say that I loved it doesn’t put my feelings into words! There are times when we hear bees before we see them, that familiar bzzz, that makes us look around and turn our heads. Amazingly enough, however, Queen bees are known for making another sound, which only those who are musically inclined can hear. A piping sound, in G sharp. When the gifted few can hear it, they kn Review posted on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... First, a huge thank you to #GoodreadsGiveaway for this book. To say that I loved it doesn’t put my feelings into words! There are times when we hear bees before we see them, that familiar bzzz, that makes us look around and turn our heads. Amazingly enough, however, Queen bees are known for making another sound, which only those who are musically inclined can hear. A piping sound, in G sharp. When the gifted few can hear it, they know, the Queen and her hive are thriving. Alice Holtzman is a Beekeeper, among other things. After losing her husband unexpectedly, Alice works a job simply to pay the bills. She’d like nothing more than to raise honeybees full-time as they are the only thing in her life that makes any sense and bring her peace. The day Alice meets eighteen-year-old Jake after nearly colliding with him, while she is carting more honeybees back home to raise, both of their destinies change. Jake is a paraplegic, who is only now recovering from the accident that changed his life forever. Trying to figure out how to move forward, Alice’s honeybees show him the way. Twenty-four-year-old Harry’s luck has been down and out for quite a while. When he arrives on Alice’s farm looking for work. He too belongs. Socially awkward, uncomfortable, and anxious, Alice and Jake give Harry something he had been lacking for all of his life. Friendship and guidance. Together, Alice, Jake, and Harry form an unlikely alliance, showing that you can find strength when you least expect it and conquer all. The Music of Bees captured my heart. The character of Jake was my favorite. I found his heart, resilience, and growth throughout the novel to be quite something. Thank you again to Goodreads Giveaways for the win. Published on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    What a heartfelt, intense, soul crushing, unique story! Three lost, broken, struggling souls’ paths cross at a bee farm located in rural Oregon. Their backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, expectations from life couldn’t be so much different. The author achieved a fantastic job by bringing out different and meticulously well-crafted human portraits to tell this poignant story! Alice Hoffman, 44, stuck in her job at bee farm, trapped into spiral of unhappiness, slowly suffocating. After sudde What a heartfelt, intense, soul crushing, unique story! Three lost, broken, struggling souls’ paths cross at a bee farm located in rural Oregon. Their backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, expectations from life couldn’t be so much different. The author achieved a fantastic job by bringing out different and meticulously well-crafted human portraits to tell this poignant story! Alice Hoffman, 44, stuck in her job at bee farm, trapped into spiral of unhappiness, slowly suffocating. After sudden death of her husband, her depression grows and she finds herself at very dark place. Her last panic attack crisis ends with colliding into a young boy who has one of the strangest tallest Mohawk hairstyle. He’s troubled paraplegic teenager but he is surprisingly helpful to handle the truck trouble she gets herself into ( 120 thousand bees are waiting to be transported) Thankfully he becomes her lifesaver and his genuine interest in bees attracts her attention. Maybe she found the best helper to assist her. And 24 years old Harry couldn’t be surprised more as he finds himself as the employee of the farm. He’s suffering social anxiety and he is so desperate to find a proper job. Three different people who suffer from different anxiety issues, coming from different backgrounds, fighting with different kind of inner demons come together to work in a bee farm against the nefarious plans of pesticide company to save local honeybee population. Overall: it’s realistic, moving story with beautifully portraits, inspirational, heartwarming, promising story! I’m giving my four emotional, buzzing, humming, soul brushing stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton for sharing this digital copy of emotional arc with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    3.5 stars Another review to do! 😬 and here it is finally!!! This lovely book is not only a sweet and tender walk down a road that was filled with anxiety, sorrow and stress for the three main characters, Alice, Jake, and Harry, but it is also a tale that in hurt and sadness there often lies friendship, kindness, and perhaps even a touch of love. Alice, a beekeeper, lost her beloved husband to a tragic car accident. Her grief is still with her and her worry remains for her bees with the idea of spray 3.5 stars Another review to do! 😬 and here it is finally!!! This lovely book is not only a sweet and tender walk down a road that was filled with anxiety, sorrow and stress for the three main characters, Alice, Jake, and Harry, but it is also a tale that in hurt and sadness there often lies friendship, kindness, and perhaps even a touch of love. Alice, a beekeeper, lost her beloved husband to a tragic car accident. Her grief is still with her and her worry remains for her bees with the idea of spraying. She takes on two helpers, Jake, a young man who was troubled and becomes disabled after a tragic daredevil accident, and Harry, another young man who feels himself to be alone. As Jake becomes attuned to the bees, he finds he has an affinity to them for he never seems to get stung and adapts Alice's words to her bees, "hello ladies". He also realizes that the queen bee has a certain pitch which he recognizes and finds joy in his linkage to her and the hives. It's a lovely story that revels in the fact that love not only happens between family members but can occur strongly with those you come to know, help, and admire. This is a good story to read when you find you need a reminder as to what is the real meaning of living a life......and all from a newbie author!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    3.5⭐ This is a lovely and moving story with funny moments to make it a light read. If you're curious about honeybees, concern about the environment (pesticide), and like small-town drama you'll find The Music of Bees a special read! The characters Alice, Harry, and Jake are lost souls and mismatched, but they formed a wonderful friendship at Alice's bee farm in Hood River, Oregon. I listened to an audiobook, and love Thérèse Plummer as a narrator. The downside of this is the details about bees are 3.5⭐ This is a lovely and moving story with funny moments to make it a light read. If you're curious about honeybees, concern about the environment (pesticide), and like small-town drama you'll find The Music of Bees a special read! The characters Alice, Harry, and Jake are lost souls and mismatched, but they formed a wonderful friendship at Alice's bee farm in Hood River, Oregon. I listened to an audiobook, and love Thérèse Plummer as a narrator. The downside of this is the details about bees are difficult to remember without seeing in writing. But I really enjoy this book and want to thank my Goodread friend Barbara who brought this book to my attention. 🍯

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan K (Plot & Characters Matter)

    Bees, boys, protests and joy wrapped in a great story! Eileen Garvin shows her skill at storytelling as she immerses the reader in a small town, rural atmosphere. She uses a light hand with character back stories making them interesting, well developed and engaging along with metaphorical yet educational elements of bee keeping. The story focuses on Alice Holtzman, a woman who takes Jake, a wheelchair bound teen on as a boarder and teaches him bee keeping. In short time, as he learns the trade, Bees, boys, protests and joy wrapped in a great story! Eileen Garvin shows her skill at storytelling as she immerses the reader in a small town, rural atmosphere. She uses a light hand with character back stories making them interesting, well developed and engaging along with metaphorical yet educational elements of bee keeping. The story focuses on Alice Holtzman, a woman who takes Jake, a wheelchair bound teen on as a boarder and teaches him bee keeping. In short time, as he learns the trade, his musical ear tells him buzzing in the key of G equates with a happy queen, hence the book's title. Soon after, a parolee in need of a job is hired and the two quickly become friends while Alice rallies both community and environmental groups to battle a pesticide corporation. While its not Pulitzer material, its well written, engaging, paced to perfection and uplifting which for someone like myself is ideal. For all who enjoy a great story, its well worth adding to your list!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Five adorable buzzing bees for this gorgeous book. And just like that there's another contender for one of my favorite reads of the year! The Music Of Bees completely captured my heart. An uplifting read that really touches the soul. It gave me all the warm fuzzies and I couldn't help but hug this book once I finished reading. I mean really! Bees bringing people together, helping heal, creating friendships ... so beautiful. I adored the main characters, Alice, Jake and Harry so much! I wasn't rea Five adorable buzzing bees for this gorgeous book. And just like that there's another contender for one of my favorite reads of the year! The Music Of Bees completely captured my heart. An uplifting read that really touches the soul. It gave me all the warm fuzzies and I couldn't help but hug this book once I finished reading. I mean really! Bees bringing people together, helping heal, creating friendships ... so beautiful. I adored the main characters, Alice, Jake and Harry so much! I wasn't ready to say goodbye to them just yet. Another book I wish I could read again for the very first time. Thanks to Sweetreads Box for choosing yet another phenomenal read!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    It started out with a lot of promise and I was totally invested in the characters and the story. Just past halfway through, though, things got a little crazy. The author threw in so many "hot topics" that everything just got muddled. It seemed to become more of a political, social, environmental commentary. There was a lot to unpack and certainly issues that need to be addressed, but it was such a change from the first half of the story which was more character-driven. It started out with a lot of promise and I was totally invested in the characters and the story. Just past halfway through, though, things got a little crazy. The author threw in so many "hot topics" that everything just got muddled. It seemed to become more of a political, social, environmental commentary. There was a lot to unpack and certainly issues that need to be addressed, but it was such a change from the first half of the story which was more character-driven.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Three people struggling with inner anxiety and grief. They come together by chance at an Oregon bee farm, finding healing and friendship. I usually avoid this sort of emotional novel because sometimes (especially after a year of high stress with everything going on in the world) it just gets to be too much on top of real life. But, when I saw this was a debut novel set at a bee farm, I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did! I enjoyed this story. There were portions that bogged me down a bit ( Three people struggling with inner anxiety and grief. They come together by chance at an Oregon bee farm, finding healing and friendship. I usually avoid this sort of emotional novel because sometimes (especially after a year of high stress with everything going on in the world) it just gets to be too much on top of real life. But, when I saw this was a debut novel set at a bee farm, I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did! I enjoyed this story. There were portions that bogged me down a bit (the back stories of the three main characters aren't easy to read -- very heavy and emotional stuff -- and their journey is not easy)...but overall, this was a heartwarming story of getting past the past and moving forward, finding friendships, and looking forward to a second chance at life. Lovely story -- and amazing debut novel! I can't wait to see what Eileen Garvin writes next! **I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Penguin Group Dutton. All opinions expressed are entirely my own**

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eva K (journeyofthepages)

    The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin is a simply beautiful debut novel! I loved this story and especially grew fond of all of the characters. This is a touching story about grief, loss of every kind, healing, forgiveness, acceptance, finding your own path, and ultimately friendship.  The three main characters, their stories told by corresponding points of view, are unique and a trio of individuals you would never think would grow so attached. But these three people need each other while simultaneou The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin is a simply beautiful debut novel! I loved this story and especially grew fond of all of the characters. This is a touching story about grief, loss of every kind, healing, forgiveness, acceptance, finding your own path, and ultimately friendship.  The three main characters, their stories told by corresponding points of view, are unique and a trio of individuals you would never think would grow so attached. But these three people need each other while simultaneously having something to offer.  With a little bit of humor and a whole lot of heart, The Music of Bees tells the story of how to overcome adversity and move forward in the face of tragedy, and pain.  Thank you, NetGalley, PENGUIN GROUP Dutton, and Eileen Garvin, for a copy of this book for review! 

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jolanta (knygupe)

    1,5* No, it is not for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn in FL

    I got captured by this interesting debut novel featuring a quirky main character, Alice, who finally comes to terms with grieving the loss of her husband, who died from a truck accident. Alice comes to realize her comfortable life doesn't have the meaningfulness she once hid within it. Now, she takes on a handicapped teenager and a hapless twenty something as they all seek solace from the hard world and into the magical world of honeybees. This is my ninth honeybee themed story. It was entertaini I got captured by this interesting debut novel featuring a quirky main character, Alice, who finally comes to terms with grieving the loss of her husband, who died from a truck accident. Alice comes to realize her comfortable life doesn't have the meaningfulness she once hid within it. Now, she takes on a handicapped teenager and a hapless twenty something as they all seek solace from the hard world and into the magical world of honeybees. This is my ninth honeybee themed story. It was entertaining with likeable characters, all of whom are facing big challenges in finding their purpose in life. They are not out of the ordinary in scope and thus quite believable and relatable. I liked the story and how each turns their challenges into a means by which they grow and heal. Each person finds the need for community and support something once frighteningly uncomfortable but now a light that causes them each to thrive as a result. Good effort by the author although the editing could have been stronger. An overall positive read for those who enjoy family type drama.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    This is a lovely story about three damaged people coming together by happenstance at exactly the right moment in life when they need each other and don’t even know it. All the characters are sad but likable people who just need a reason to hope. It is a beautiful and cautionary tale about bees and how they are necessary to life on earth as we know it and how certain pesticides can be the enemy of the people and bees. This book started out slow for me as it got bogged down in Alice’s past that didn This is a lovely story about three damaged people coming together by happenstance at exactly the right moment in life when they need each other and don’t even know it. All the characters are sad but likable people who just need a reason to hope. It is a beautiful and cautionary tale about bees and how they are necessary to life on earth as we know it and how certain pesticides can be the enemy of the people and bees. This book started out slow for me as it got bogged down in Alice’s past that didn’t come out that clear even with all the writing. It felt over written and I started to skip, in fact I almost gave up. Boy! Am I glad I didn’t because once these three broken people came together and an unlikely bond is formed and then Cheney the dog joins in, it turned out to be one terrific read! It’s the kind of book that will make you smile because these three battered souls find a way to heal and move on with the life they never expected possible. It’s a book about hopeful possibilities.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Natalie "Curling up with a Coffee and a Kindle" Rampling

    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 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!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andreia ❤in love with Flowers and Butterflies❤

    I had been so eager to read this one because of the Honeybees but it was a very disappointing reading as there is: * Very little focus on the Honeybees, which were my favorite protagonists and my main interest; * Weak storyline - Too much chit-chat, no depth in the dialogues; * Weak female protagonist leading to teenagers dominating a great part of the story; * Not suitable for my age and lack of interest in teenagers in general.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    "Each member of a honeybee colony is united by a common bond -- the pheromone of their mother and queen, a scent that spreads through the hive as a mark of belonging... Humans have no such obvious interconnections, at least outside their families." This is a very slow read about three misfits who find themselves united on a bee farm. 🐝 The author is a beekeeper and includes a lot of fun facts about bees. I actually wrote down some flowers that attract bees to plant in my own garden. As we all pro "Each member of a honeybee colony is united by a common bond -- the pheromone of their mother and queen, a scent that spreads through the hive as a mark of belonging... Humans have no such obvious interconnections, at least outside their families." This is a very slow read about three misfits who find themselves united on a bee farm. 🐝 The author is a beekeeper and includes a lot of fun facts about bees. I actually wrote down some flowers that attract bees to plant in my own garden. As we all probably know, pesticides can be very harmful to the bee population. That is the protagonist in this fictional story. A major pesticide company is causing hives to die and our three main characters (Alice, Jack, and Harry) unite together to save them. My rating is 2.5. Great premise and extra information given but it lacked depth and overall enjoyment. It was just okay.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I'm not sure if I can really articulate my feelings about this book and how much I loved it. It was the cathartic release I really needed, with such endearing characters that I immediately became attached to. I am a sucker for a band of misfits and this is the perfect bunch.  This story about loss and pain and your world turning upside down and feeling like you've lost yourself on the other side; it really hit me in the feels. Finding your place and your passion and your family. The writing was I'm not sure if I can really articulate my feelings about this book and how much I loved it. It was the cathartic release I really needed, with such endearing characters that I immediately became attached to. I am a sucker for a band of misfits and this is the perfect bunch.  This story about loss and pain and your world turning upside down and feeling like you've lost yourself on the other side; it really hit me in the feels. Finding your place and your passion and your family. The writing was fantastic, the storyline was perfectly weaved with flashbacks into the present. I could feel every emotion as the character was, almost like I was going through everything with them. And the descriptions of the bees and beekeeping - I didn't even think I liked bees, but the way everything was incorporated into the novel was so well done and interesting (never just an info dump or lecture) that now I need more! Fantastic story that will stick with me for a long time, highly recommend this book!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Alice Boltzmann, a recent widow, enjoys the solitude of her small farm and the company of her bees. Jake, a 19 year old paraplegic who sports a wicked mohawk is uncertain of what his future holds. Harry is a young man with social anxiety trying to let go of his past. When circumstances bring the three together they form an unlikely family bond. Told in alternating voices of the three, a wonderful depiction of friendship, loyalty and standing up for one's beliefs. Along with the heartwarming story Alice Boltzmann, a recent widow, enjoys the solitude of her small farm and the company of her bees. Jake, a 19 year old paraplegic who sports a wicked mohawk is uncertain of what his future holds. Harry is a young man with social anxiety trying to let go of his past. When circumstances bring the three together they form an unlikely family bond. Told in alternating voices of the three, a wonderful depiction of friendship, loyalty and standing up for one's beliefs. Along with the heartwarming story I learned a lot about honey bees.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lani

    Really great story that is about much more than grief, it's about making family where you find it and embracing people who might seem different from you at first, but end up being the missing piece in your life. It also highlights the symbiotic relationship of humans and bees which was well done and inspiring. I learned so many things about bees I never knew. Found myself saying, "hello ladies," softly when I saw them outside in my flower garden after reading this book. Great characters, althoug Really great story that is about much more than grief, it's about making family where you find it and embracing people who might seem different from you at first, but end up being the missing piece in your life. It also highlights the symbiotic relationship of humans and bees which was well done and inspiring. I learned so many things about bees I never knew. Found myself saying, "hello ladies," softly when I saw them outside in my flower garden after reading this book. Great characters, although they all had some heartbreaking background, this wasn't an overly emotional book for me. It was more telling than feeling, but overall a really good story with real life meaning and things to ponder. The narrator did a great job with the individual characters and voices and I recommend this book on audio without hesitation.

  23. 4 out of 5

    DeB

    The plight of honeybees, our most important pollinators, versus the promotion and use of the Neonicotinoid pesticides are a central theme in this hopeful novel, which takes place in the verdant area of Hood River, Oregon. Alice, a part time beekeeper inadvertently becomes an employer and advocate for Jake and Harry, both of whom are young men lost in their current lives without a sense of purpose. The unlikely trio develop bonds with each other, the bees and engage in efforts to thwart the compa The plight of honeybees, our most important pollinators, versus the promotion and use of the Neonicotinoid pesticides are a central theme in this hopeful novel, which takes place in the verdant area of Hood River, Oregon. Alice, a part time beekeeper inadvertently becomes an employer and advocate for Jake and Harry, both of whom are young men lost in their current lives without a sense of purpose. The unlikely trio develop bonds with each other, the bees and engage in efforts to thwart the company, SupraGro from promoting and spraying their valley with the noxious chemical. Lots of bee information interspersed lovingly around the three main characters, who grew on me, through their frustrations, foibles and eventual pride in their efforts. The bees, with their communal effort, the author seemed to point out, help those who learn their “music”. Great storytelling. Four stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Meagan (Meagansbookclub)

    Audiobook This one snuck by me last year on bookstagram! It was great! Definitely a character drive story with Alice at the helm, a bee keeper who acquires these “lost boys.” It was sweet and endearing and I am so glad I spent the time listening to this story of second changes and forgiveness and hope.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Debbi

    3.5 A sweet book. It could have been a little more challenging, but the characters were likable, Oregon was portrayed accurately and overall it was an easy, feel good, almost summer read. I'll say that I am mystified by any comparison to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Both books have a neurodivergent character but they couldn't be more different. I think a comparison sells both books short. 3.5 A sweet book. It could have been a little more challenging, but the characters were likable, Oregon was portrayed accurately and overall it was an easy, feel good, almost summer read. I'll say that I am mystified by any comparison to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Both books have a neurodivergent character but they couldn't be more different. I think a comparison sells both books short.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I just loved this book. Alice is a 44 year old women who work's fulltime for the county, she also is a beekeeper. By accident she meets these two troubled young men. Jake is 18 and has a unique way with the bee's and Harry is 24 yr and he come's to work for Alice as a handyman. Both guy's end up living with Alice and she come's to realize she love's these boy's like family. She end's up buying a large orchard, which she alway's wanted and add's alot more hive's too her new land. As a side note: T I just loved this book. Alice is a 44 year old women who work's fulltime for the county, she also is a beekeeper. By accident she meets these two troubled young men. Jake is 18 and has a unique way with the bee's and Harry is 24 yr and he come's to work for Alice as a handyman. Both guy's end up living with Alice and she come's to realize she love's these boy's like family. She end's up buying a large orchard, which she alway's wanted and add's alot more hive's too her new land. As a side note: The story take's place in Hood River, Oregon and that's where the Author live's and she is also a beekeeper.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shereadbookblog

    I almost passed on this book; so glad I didn’t. What an uplifting, feel good story…a testament to the power of healing, friendship, finding one’s self. An easy, light summer read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sam Sattler

    Although Eileen Garvin published her memoir How to Be a Sister (intriguing title, that) in 2010, the soon-to-be-published The Music of Bees marks her debut as a novelist. Part of what makes this new novel so much fun to read is the rather painless education about bees and beekeepers that the reader acquires along the way. Garvin, who is herself an Oregon beekeeper in addition to being a writer, skillfully makes it all seem simple right up until the point the reader comes to realize just how comp Although Eileen Garvin published her memoir How to Be a Sister (intriguing title, that) in 2010, the soon-to-be-published The Music of Bees marks her debut as a novelist. Part of what makes this new novel so much fun to read is the rather painless education about bees and beekeepers that the reader acquires along the way. Garvin, who is herself an Oregon beekeeper in addition to being a writer, skillfully makes it all seem simple right up until the point the reader comes to realize just how complicated beekeeping actually is, and how terribly important bees and their keepers are to the environment and the food chain. The Music of Bees is a story about three loners, two of whom have become loners pretty much by choice, and another who had the lifestyle forced upon him after an accident put him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Alice Holtzman is a 44-year-old county employee who enjoys keeping bees so much that over the next year she wants to double the number of hives she has. She is in the process of doing just that, transporting some 120,000 bees home in the back of her truck, when she almost literally runs into Jake, the 18-year old in the wheelchair. Jake is rather foolishly tooling down the side of the highway in his chair at dusk when Alice runs him off the road. When the smoke clears, Jake is so intrigued by Alice and how she is able to entice almost all the bees back into their proper containers, that a new friendship is born. Harry is a 24-year-old running from his past who moves west to live in a dilapidated trailer with his reclusive uncle. After spotting Alice’s help-wanted ad, he responds, and the unlikely trio soon find themselves not only working together, but living together. All three have things in their recent past they regret, and all three of them have withdrawn into themselves in the mistaken belief that they will heal their wounds that way. What they end up learning is that they are much stronger together than they are separately. More importantly, though, the bond they form is such a strong one that each of them begins to come back to life - and when the well-being of their bees and new way of life are threatened, they are willing to fight back as one, no matter what it takes or what the personal repercussions may be for any one of them. Bottom Line: The Music of Bees is a beautiful story about empathy, friendship, and personal restoration. At its heart it is a basic story of good versus evil, and how sometimes the least powerful among us can beat the odds just long enough to win the battle - oh, and all of that beekeeping knowledge that seeps in along the way is a special bonus readers are sure to enjoy. Review Copy provided by Publisher

  29. 4 out of 5

    #AskMissPatience

    For me, Eileen Garvin’s The Music of Bees is a win. Why? Besides being an engaging story the premise is a learning experience. Genius weaving the plight of bees within the context of a story that has its own characters plight woven in. Found this in the feed. Sounded interesting. Decided it was worth a borrow within my other dozen reads. I especially enjoyed this while working on projects at double speed on audio. And, at bedtime normal speed. The stories within the story all lead to a well-thought- For me, Eileen Garvin’s The Music of Bees is a win. Why? Besides being an engaging story the premise is a learning experience. Genius weaving the plight of bees within the context of a story that has its own characters plight woven in. Found this in the feed. Sounded interesting. Decided it was worth a borrow within my other dozen reads. I especially enjoyed this while working on projects at double speed on audio. And, at bedtime normal speed. The stories within the story all lead to a well-thought-out narrative I enjoyed. The science behind the bee concerns woven into a bigger reality and the people who get involved... I was rooting for different people for different reasons. Overall, if your looking for a fun informative narrative about people who over come odds, find their place to call home, including new forged relationships that become like family... This may be the read for you. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟💯

  30. 4 out of 5

    CindySR

    This wasn't as emotional as I thought it would be but that's ok. The writing, the characters, the creativity of the story all contributed to a very enjoyable read. I loved how this family was formed, how they grew and gained purpose in their lives. I got quite the education about bees and hives, too, thanks to L.L. Langstroth. This wasn't as emotional as I thought it would be but that's ok. The writing, the characters, the creativity of the story all contributed to a very enjoyable read. I loved how this family was formed, how they grew and gained purpose in their lives. I got quite the education about bees and hives, too, thanks to L.L. Langstroth.

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