Set in the gorgeous, sprawling countryside of the Pacific Northwest, Eileen Garvin's THE MUSIC OF BEES is about finding friendship in the most unlikely of places, and the families we choose for ourselves. Heart-warming, inspirational and redemptive, it is perfect for fans of THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS and Rachel Joyce.
'It's simultaneously heart-breaking and uplifting, and I loved it' Abi Daré, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl with the Louding Voice
'This heart-warming, uplifting story will make you want to call your own friends, not to mention grab some honey' Good Housekeeping
* A Good Housekeeping Book Club Pick * Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by BookRiot and the New York Post *
After the sudden death of her husband, Alice Holtzman finds herself a social outsider. Reclusive, middle-aged, childless, and with only 850,000 honeybees for company.
On the other side of town, Jake Stevenson and his enormous black mohawk had a bright future in front of them studying music, all until an accident at a high school party leaves him in a wheelchair.
So when Alice nearly crashes her pick-up truck, packed with thousands of restless honeybees, into Jake, the last thing she expects from the near-miss is to find that Jake has a gift: not only is he a natural with bees, but he can hear their buzzing as a form of music. . .
And when Harry, a twenty-four-year-old with debilitating social anxiety, also arrives at the farm looking for work, unexpected friendships begin to blossom.
As these new friends begin to heal one another, all seems right with their world - until the buzzing stops. With a pesticide company threatening the local honeybee population, and everything they have worked for, this trio must unite to defend their bees.
Praise for The Music of Bees. . .
'A hopeful, heart-warming, uplifting story about the power of chosen family'
Laurie Frankel, New York Times bestselling author of This Is How It Always Is
'An exquisite debut'
'A special treat for nature lovers, The Music of Bees is full of warmth and hope and decency'
Rebecca Hardiman, author of Good Eggs
'The Music of Bees is an enchanting book of belonging, overcoming adversity and the journey to find a hive of one's own'
Kira Jane Buxton, author of Hollow Kingdom
'The Music of Bees sings!'
'A delightful book!'
Netgalley Reviewer, 5 stars
In Garvin's affecting debut novel (after the memoir How to Be a Sister), three misfits come together to save the local bee population of Hood River, Ore. One night, Alice Holtzman, a hobbyist beekeeper, widower, and introvert who is beset with panic attacks and "held together by cookies, solitary driving, and the sheer determination not to go crazy in public," nearly runs over teenager Jake Stevenson in his wheelchair. They get to talking about her bees, and Alice surprises herself by offering the depressed Jake a place to stay so he can escape his abusive father. Jake is soon followed by Harry Stokes, whom Alice hires for some carpentry work and offers a free room in her bunkhouse. After Alice is slighted for an overdue promotion, she quits her job and the three turn their attention to stopping the pesticide conglomerate SupraGro, known for decimating bee populations in other states. After a slow start, the SupraGro plot gives some structure to the novel but also weighs it down by distracting from the heart of the story: the three characters and their personal growth. The bees are an obvious metaphor ("single-minded creatures that each worked tirelessly for the whole"), but it works, and Garvin gets the local color right, such as Harry's kiteboarding on the Columbia. While predictable, the story is genuinely touching.