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The Music of Bees : A Novel

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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 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 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.

55 review for The Music of Bees : A Novel

  1. 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    vicki honeyman

    It's hard to believe this is a debut novel for writer Eileen Garvin, who has been compared to author Eleanor Oliphant. A lovingly told story rich with characters I would enjoy having as my next-door neighbors or best friend's kids, the story takes place on a bee farm in rural Oregon. Having the utmost respect for bees and beekeepers, it was an extra special treat to be taken to that world. The protagonist's father's destructive revilement of his son is utterly horrific but that's what makes the It's hard to believe this is a debut novel for writer Eileen Garvin, who has been compared to author Eleanor Oliphant. A lovingly told story rich with characters I would enjoy having as my next-door neighbors or best friend's kids, the story takes place on a bee farm in rural Oregon. Having the utmost respect for bees and beekeepers, it was an extra special treat to be taken to that world. The protagonist's father's destructive revilement of his son is utterly horrific but that's what makes the story the story. It is heartbreaking, yet this tender novel redeems itself in a heartwarming way. Be sure to watch for it's release in Spring of 2021.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura Hill

    Thank you to Dutton and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on April 27th, 2021. Characters: 4/5 Writing: 4/5 Plot: 3.5/5 A heartwarming story of three lost souls who come together in a small farming community (Hood River, Oregon) to find their place in life — one with purpose and people to care about. Alice Holtzman has worked in the County Planning Office for twenty years but her passion is beekeeping and the dream of Thank you to Dutton and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on April 27th, 2021. Characters: 4/5 Writing: 4/5 Plot: 3.5/5 A heartwarming story of three lost souls who come together in a small farming community (Hood River, Oregon) to find their place in life — one with purpose and people to care about. Alice Holtzman has worked in the County Planning Office for twenty years but her passion is beekeeping and the dream of one day running her own orchard. Jake Stevenson is eighteen and trapped in a wheelchair after a stupid stunt at a high school party. His proudest achievement? The world’s tallest Mohawk (at 16.5 inches). Other than hair maintenance, however, he is just killing time and soaking in regret. Harry Stokes is a “passenger in his own life” — desperate for a job with a criminal history and a now-condemned trailer as a living space. I loved the main characters and the manner in which the author describes the way they each find each other and a solid, “feels right” path moving forward. There is a relatively simplistic overlay plot concerning the evil Supragro company that is pushing a toxic pesticide spray that is lethal to bees — and how the community comes together to successfully fight it. The “bad” guys are fairly two-dimensional — stereotypical greedy, powerful, and corrupt men — but I did like the way social media and video was used to expose what was happening. I also very much enjoyed the descriptions of Hood River and rural life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cathe Fein Olson

    Sweet story about an unlikely trio coming together and bonding over bees and loneliness. Reminded me a lot of Catherine Ryan Hyde with sweet characters that pull on your heartstrings, but this one had some really interesting info on bees as well.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Diane Payne

    Garvin's novel is an easy and somewhat predictable read. This is definitely a PC novel with a youngish woman, Alice, whose husband died in a car accident (caused by a drunk driver), leaving her alone in her 40's, which she seems to prefer, until she meets an 18-year-old who had recently ended up paraplegic in an accident, and then a 24-year-old recently homeless young man recently released from jail, that she befriends to live with her to help raise bees. Alice leads a crusade against her neighb Garvin's novel is an easy and somewhat predictable read. This is definitely a PC novel with a youngish woman, Alice, whose husband died in a car accident (caused by a drunk driver), leaving her alone in her 40's, which she seems to prefer, until she meets an 18-year-old who had recently ended up paraplegic in an accident, and then a 24-year-old recently homeless young man recently released from jail, that she befriends to live with her to help raise bees. Alice leads a crusade against her neighbors who use pesticides on their orchards that kill her bees, and then the novel wraps up with the boys happily on their way to leading happy lives, which makes Alice happy, and left me feeling like I just watched a Lifetime show. I do wish the copy editors had corrected more errors. It's a feel good novel that involves kiteboarding, skateboarding, ska, bees, death of human, death of bees, reuniting with a dog and family, but not with an angry father, and ends on a happy note.

  6. 5 out of 5

    vicki honeyman

    It's hard to believe this is a debut novel for writer Eileen Garvin, who has been compared to author Eleanor Oliphant. A lovingly told story rich with characters I would enjoy having as my next-door neighbors or best friend's kids, the story takes place on a bee farm in rural Oregon. Having the utmost respect for bees and beekeepers, it was an extra special treat to be taken to that world. The protagonist's father's destructive revilement of his son is utterly horrific but that's what makes the It's hard to believe this is a debut novel for writer Eileen Garvin, who has been compared to author Eleanor Oliphant. A lovingly told story rich with characters I would enjoy having as my next-door neighbors or best friend's kids, the story takes place on a bee farm in rural Oregon. Having the utmost respect for bees and beekeepers, it was an extra special treat to be taken to that world. The protagonist's father's destructive revilement of his son is utterly horrific but that's what makes the story the story. It is heartbreaking, yet this tender novel redeems itself in a heartwarming way. Be sure to watch for it's release in Spring of 2021.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Mommy Booknerd http://mrsmommybooknerd.blogspot.com

    #FirstLine - Jacob Stevenson had the tallest mohawk in the history of Hood River Valley High School. I love this story so much. It is amazing that this is a debut because it reads like Garvin has always been here writing amazing stories. This story was so original. I have never read anything like it and that is what I loved most about it. It was one of those stories that you cannot help but read quickly, devouring every word, every detail of the story. You will not soon forget this book because o #FirstLine - Jacob Stevenson had the tallest mohawk in the history of Hood River Valley High School. I love this story so much. It is amazing that this is a debut because it reads like Garvin has always been here writing amazing stories. This story was so original. I have never read anything like it and that is what I loved most about it. It was one of those stories that you cannot help but read quickly, devouring every word, every detail of the story. You will not soon forget this book because of the setting, characters and beautiful cadence of the book. A must read debut author and one to watch! Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    𝕋ℍ𝔼 𝕄𝕌𝕊𝕀ℂ 𝕆𝔽 𝔹𝔼𝔼𝕊⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ By Eileen Garvin (Release Date April 27, 2021)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 𝐌𝐢𝐜𝐫𝐨 𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬: Three broken and lonely strangers in a small Oregon town work together to build thriving bee colonies, and in doing so they help each other heal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 𝐘𝐨𝐮'𝐥𝐥 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🤷🏻Casts of Misfits⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 👨🏼‍🦽Stories about overcoming loss⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🐝The Intricate Lives of Bees⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🥰Feel-good Stories⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🦺Second-Chances⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 𝐏𝐫𝐨 𝐓𝐢𝐩: This one is 𝕋ℍ𝔼 𝕄𝕌𝕊𝕀ℂ 𝕆𝔽 𝔹𝔼𝔼𝕊⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ By Eileen Garvin (Release Date April 27, 2021)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 𝐌𝐢𝐜𝐫𝐨 𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬: Three broken and lonely strangers in a small Oregon town work together to build thriving bee colonies, and in doing so they help each other heal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 𝐘𝐨𝐮'𝐥𝐥 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🤷🏻Casts of Misfits⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 👨🏼‍🦽Stories about overcoming loss⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🐝The Intricate Lives of Bees⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🥰Feel-good Stories⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🦺Second-Chances⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 𝐏𝐫𝐨 𝐓𝐢𝐩: This one is a slow burn. Garvin spends a lot of time setting up the characters before they literally collide together, so be patient! Also, have some 🍯 at the ready, this book will make you want to eat honey everything.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    When Alice's husband is killed in a car accident her life loses meaning. Jake is left in a wheelchair after a foolish prank at a high school party. Harry makes poor decisions and heads west after his release from prison. Alice needs help in her apiary, the only thing that gives her life meaning. After running Jake off the road she takes him home and hires young Harry to do some carpentry. As friendships grow stronger they realize that together thay are strong and old wounds begin to heal. An eas When Alice's husband is killed in a car accident her life loses meaning. Jake is left in a wheelchair after a foolish prank at a high school party. Harry makes poor decisions and heads west after his release from prison. Alice needs help in her apiary, the only thing that gives her life meaning. After running Jake off the road she takes him home and hires young Harry to do some carpentry. As friendships grow stronger they realize that together thay are strong and old wounds begin to heal. An easy but captivating read that teaches a lot about bees and apiaries but more about human nature and the need for caring people in everyone's lives. #The Music of Bees#Net Galley#Indigo Employee

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alexanderia

    I enjoyed every minute of this book! It was a light, enjoyable read set in state that holds a special piece of my heart. Oregon is by far the most beautiful state and fruit picking was a major family event for us. When she talks about the fruit farms, my mind immediately replays all the wonderful years of eating ourselves sick on cherries, blackberries, blueberries, and peaches. I also connected on a beekeeper level as I had two hives of my own before moving. I enjoyed seeing the story come toge I enjoyed every minute of this book! It was a light, enjoyable read set in state that holds a special piece of my heart. Oregon is by far the most beautiful state and fruit picking was a major family event for us. When she talks about the fruit farms, my mind immediately replays all the wonderful years of eating ourselves sick on cherries, blackberries, blueberries, and peaches. I also connected on a beekeeper level as I had two hives of my own before moving. I enjoyed seeing the story come together and these three strangers who all had major life events, find comfort and growth in each other.

  11. 5 out of 5

    B.S. Casey

    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 Alice 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.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    review to come

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Nijhuis

    A delightful read by a warm, wise, humane writer. I loved these characters and their shared story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Hathaway

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barb B

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Francoeur

  17. 5 out of 5

    Heather Carr

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisanne

  19. 5 out of 5

    Patrice

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emily Rose

  22. 4 out of 5

    Trish

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bookfee

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Gemmill

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

  28. 5 out of 5

    Victoria (RedsCat)

  29. 5 out of 5

    TaniLu

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Mayer

  31. 4 out of 5

    Holly E

  32. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  33. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

  34. 4 out of 5

    Kareena

  35. 5 out of 5

    Angela

  36. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

  37. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth (elilovesbooks16)

  38. 5 out of 5

    Marie

  39. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Eichelberger

  40. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  41. 4 out of 5

    Amy (Bossy Bookworm)

  42. 5 out of 5

    Appoloin

  43. 5 out of 5

    Janet | purrfectpages

  44. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  45. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

  46. 5 out of 5

    Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee

  47. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  48. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

  49. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

  50. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Howard

  51. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Schermerhorn

  52. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  53. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  54. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

  55. 5 out of 5

    Jill

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