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.
IndieNext Pick | LibraryReads Pick | Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by BookRiot ∙ Bookish ∙ Nerd Daily ∙ The Tempest ∙ Midwestness ∙ and more! “A hopeful, uplifting story about the power of chosen family and newfound home and beginning again...but it’s the bees, with all their wonder and intricacy and intrigue, that make this story sing.” –Laurie Frankel, New York Times bestselling author of This Is How It Always Is
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.
"You'll love cheering for the likeable loners in this kind-hearted, hopeful, and beautifully detailed story. I adored THE MUSIC OF BEES." –J. Ryan Stradal, bestselling author of The Lager Queen of Minnesota
“Fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine will enjoy this touching and uplifting novel about the healing power of friendship.” —BookRiot: 9 Mesmerising Debut Novels You Won’t Want to Miss in 2021 “I laughed, I cried, and in the end I was left with a renewed belief that there's always hope for all of us, no matter how broken or stuck we may feel. This deft, compassionate story about the enduring power of friendship and the sparkling promise of a fresh start will stay with me for a long time.” –Abi Daré, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl with the Louding Voice
About the Author
Eileen Garvin is a beekeeper and writer living in Hood River, Oregon. Her memoir, How to Be a Sister, was published in 2010. The Music of Bees is her debut novel.
“Exactly the book I needed to read right now—I laughed, I cried, and in the end I was left with a renewed belief that there's always hope for all of us, no matter how broken or stuck we may feel. This deft, compassionate story about the enduring power of friendship and the sparkling promise of a fresh start will stay with me for a long time. It's simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting, and I loved it.” —Abi Daré, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl with the Louding Voice
"You'll love cheering for the likeable loners in this kind-hearted, hopeful, and beautifully detailed story. I adored The Music of Bees." —J. Ryan Stradal, bestselling author of The Lager Queen of Minnesota
"The Music of Bees tells a hopeful, heartwarming, uplifting story about the power of chosen family and newfound home and beginning again. Its delightful cast of characters is the perfect balance between quirky and familiar, flawed and endearing. And oh the bees! Eileen Garvin’s beautiful descriptions throughout this lovely novel immerse the reader in the seasons, the weather, the trees and the flowers, the river and the land and the rhythms of small-town life, but it’s the bees, with all their wonder and intricacy and intrigue, that make this story sing." —Laurie Frankel, New York Times bestselling author of This Is How It Always Is “I knew nothing about bees before reading this marvelous book, but now I’m craving honey. Who knew that the intricate miracle that is a beehive can contain such deep, surprising life lessons? This emotionally resonant story strikes to the heart of how grief can crack you open, but lead to unexpected new ways to connect.” —Judy Blundell, New York Times bestselling author of The High Season "The Music of Bees is a transportive tale to lighten the heart. Eileen Garvin has woven a hypnotic human story of perseverance and second chances with a glittering love letter to our pollinators. It combines a cast of marvelous characters with an utterly exquisite excursion into the buzzy life of bees. Every page hums with hope, gleaming with a message of our inextricable interconnectedness, both within our own species and to our home of the natural world. 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
"In a small Oregon town, the lives of three strangers--Alice, a widowed beekeeper, Jake, a paraplegic teenager, and Harry, an anxious misfit—intersect in this moving tale. Garvin’s characters, battling loss, crave a sense of belonging, and like the bees they tend to, they must learn to rely on each other as they create their own version of home. A special treat for nature lovers, The Music of Bees is full of warmth and hope and decency—a delightful debut that really resonates." —Rebecca Hardiman, author of Good Eggs
“Both buoyant and bittersweet, Garvin’s impressive first novel, a luscious paean to the bonds of friendship and limitations of family, is the kind of comforting yet thought-provoking tale that will appeal to fans of Anne Tyler and Sue Miller.” —Booklist (STARRED review)
“Genuinely touching.” —Publishers Weekly
"A honeybee farm brings together three strangers in need of a fresh start. This novel about friendship and healing is said to be ideal for readers who enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine." —Bookish: 21 Debut Novels to Have on Your 2021 TBR
“Fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine will enjoy this touching and uplifting novel about the healing power of friendship.” —BookRiot: 9 Mesmerising Debut Novels You Won’t Want to Miss in 2021
“Let’s be honest, after 2020 we could all use some uplifting stories and this could be just the Band-Aid our collective hearts need.” —Midwestness