Friday, 15 April 2016

Book Review Hour of The Bees by Lindsay Eager

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager


This powerful debut novel delicately blurs the line between truth and fiction as Carol unravels the fantastical stories of her mentally ill grandfather.
When she and her family move to his deserted ranch in order to transfer him to a care home, Carol struggles to cope with the suffocating heat and the effects of her grandfather's dementia.
Bees seem to be following her around, but the drought means this is impossible.
She must be imagining things. Yet when her grandfather chooses her as the subject for his stories - tales of a magical healing tree, a lake, and the grandmother she never knew - Carol sees glimmers of something special in what her parents dismiss as Serge's madness.
As she rethinks her roots and what she thought she knew about her family, Carol comes to the realization that Serge's past is quickly catching up with her present.
A stunning coming-of-age story.

My Musings

This book draws you in like honey to a bee. Part coming of age story, part modern day fable, its two worlds  colliding. The young and the old. life and death,  modern day and myth.

 Twelve year old Caroline has to go with her family to take her estranged Grandad to pack up his belongings and take him to a home as he has dementia. None of the family want to be there and her grandfather is bitterly resentful. You could cut the atmosphere with a knife, not to mention feel the heat beat down on you in the drought ridden desert where he lives. .

Her grandfather starts to question their identity and ask awkward questions of them all. Why are they are all so determined to ignore their Mexican roots? The book raises the issues of why most of us want to be part of a crowd and would rather fit in rather than stand out.

As Caroline gets to know her Grandad he spins her far fetched  magical tales of an oasis with a green glass lake and a tree that gave immortality. Using characters including his dead wife Rosa he talks of adventure,  wanderlust,  bravery and greed. All the while Caroline sees bees that should be long gone in this brutal environment. Why are the bees following her? What happened to the magic tree? Why did her dad fall out with Serge her Grandad

A beautiful moral tale with a message that pierces your soul like an arrow. 

Don't be afraid to live you life because nothing is impossible you don't think about it.

ISBN: 9781406368154 PB Walker Books Ltd £7.99