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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're taking a look between the pages of a recent book birthday celebrant that made quite a BUZZ among the shelves of Middle Grade Fiction.  It stars a title that is curious, a cover that's understated, but a story that will really touch your heart.  From the folks at Candlewick Press, please join me as we welcome today's book of choice...

Hour of the Bees
Lindsay Eager
Candlewick Press

About the book...
Things are only impossible if you stop to think about them. . . .
While her friends are spending their summers having pool parties and sleepovers, twelve-year-old Carolina — Carol — is spending hers in the middle of the New Mexico desert, helping her parents move the grandfather she’s never met into a home for people with dementia. At first, Carol avoids prickly Grandpa Serge. But as the summer wears on and the heat bears down, Carol finds herself drawn to him, fascinated by the crazy stories he tells her about a healing tree, a green-glass lake, and the bees that will bring back the rain and end a hundred years of drought. As the thin line between magic and reality starts to blur, Carol must decide for herself what is possible — and what it means to be true to her roots. Readers who dream that there’s something more out there will be enchanted by this captivating novel of family, renewal, and discovering the wonder of the world.
What does it mean to be fully alive? Magic blends with reality in a stunning coming-of-age novel about a girl, a grandfather, wanderlust, and reclaiming your roots.


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Once upon a time there was a tree... gave and gave in so many ways but the people it supported with its magic and wonder eventually got too caught up in the world around them to appreciate its gifts.  The moment that happened, the moment that adventuring spirit combined with a lack of concern for what was right in front of them combined....BOOM.  No more magic and wonder.  No more gift for the ages.  No more beauty, laughter, health, and family.  The only thing that remained was a stubborn soul and the hope that one day things would be set to right. 

Part Giving Tree, part a study in family history, this is a story that is slow to build but once you get there, it's well worth the journey.  Honestly, when I first started this one, I was more enchanted by the story WITHIN the story than anything else.  Now don't get me wrong, Carolina is a fascinating girl.  She worries about fitting in, family, and what her summer's going to add up to...typical tween stuff...and show's real heart when it comes to Grandpa Serge, someone she hasn't been around for several odd years, but her time to shine doesn't really come until almost everything is said and done.  Only then does she see that all that was transpiring wasn't merely day to day happenings, the unraveling of an aging mind, or the continuation of a family war that should have ended before it had begun...but something MORE.  She understands where Serge is coming from as she begins to measure time more accurately than with a clock's rotation, feels for the inner battle he's waging with dementia despite its confusing inconveniences, and ultimately comes to realize that she must acknowledge her roots before she can grow branches (I do believe a song states nearly this much as well, though the title/artist are escaping me at the moment)...and appropriate metaphor considering all things started and stopped with a tree.

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 By book's end, it's not that I turned a complete 180 from my initial impression, but I could see more easily what all the struggle and strife were about so that when the time came...*sniff sniff*...let's just say more than a few tears were shed.  I remember reading the final pages, wiping my eyes with one hand and blowing my nose with the other (with a tissue of course!), and my reaction drew the interest of another.  I was then forced to explain the basics of the story in order for the emotional impact of what was happening to really hit home...and then I was sharing my tissue box.  It takes subjects we take for granted such as family, memories, and time, strips them down to their basic levels and reminds us that they are not promised day to day goals but GIFTS.  Ones we should cherish in every form they arrive...

Recommended read for Middle Grade Fiction fans and beyond.


About the author...

Image result for author lindsay eagar

Lindsay Eagar lives in the mountains of Utah with her young daughter. She has a BA in English from UVU and is now working towards her BS in History.  A classically trained pianist and an un-classically trained rock guitarist, Lindsay has also interned at a literary agency


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Special thanks to the team at Candlewick Press for the ARC for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time...happy reading!


Tracy Terry said...

Intrigued by the mention of 'a girl, a grandfather, wanderlust, and reclaiming your roots'. I am however a bit dubious of the 'story within a story' as I don't generally speaking fare too well with this style of writing.

Gina R said...

In this case, it's referring to the touching tale (or is it?) Grandpa shares with Carol.... It's more about family roots than a separate plot line. '-'

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