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The Murmur of Bees

Segovia, Sofía. (2015). The Murmur of Bees. Penguin Random House. Translated by Simon Bruni.

Historical Fiction.

This book is about faith, hope and love. It happens in the city of Linares, a city near Monterey during the time of the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish flu epidemic. It is about the Morales family who are quite wealthy landowners. The story begins with Nana Reja, the families wet nurse rather on in years, who on hearing the cries of a baby, walks a distance and finds an abandoned baby with a deformity covered in a blanket of bees. Nana Reja finds a way to feed him and he flourishes. The Morales family, Franciso and Beatriz, accept him as part of their family. He is named, Simonopio. He is highly intuitive and a bee charmer. He loves his adoptive family dearly. The Morales family does not believe as Anselmo Espiricueta, one of their farm laborers, that Simonopio is the sign of the devil. Anselmo carries an extreme dislike of Simonopio and also a deep resentment to his landowner, Francisco. Simonopio uses his intuition to help his family such as leading Francisco with the help of his bees to the apple orchards. Francisco converts his farm land to apple orchards which provides a way for him to keep his land. Simonopio becomes ill at the beginning of the flu epidemic which keeps the family from attending a friend’s funeral which is the start of the flu epidemic. The family isolates itself outside of the city at one of their haciendas. Beatriz and Francisco have a change of life baby, Francisco Jr., who Simonopio loves and cares for dearly. Unfortunately. Simonopio is unable to prevent harm from coming to Francisco and prevent Franciso Jr. from being injured. He is however able to avenge Francisco’s death. The murder leads to the family selling their properties and moving to Monterey to be close to family, their two daughters, and provide a safer environment. There is a promise by Francisco Jr. to visit. The family is never to return. It ends with Francisco Jr. at an elderly age traveling back to Linares, telling his story to a taxi cab driver. It is to fulfill his promise and almost as he is returning there to die.

Review by: Elaine S. Reyes, NHCC book club member and HLA volunteer.

Available at the NHCC Library

PQ7298.429 .E355 M8713 2019

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