No Spoiler Book Review
To put it simply, Murmur of Bees is a family saga set in early 1900s Mexico. It follows multiple generations of a small town farming and ranching family.
But, Oh My Gawd! There is so much more to this stunning story.
This book is told in two timelines, with multiple perspectives. There is the ancient man looking back on his life, and the stories of the people who lived through the ongoing wars, corruption and the Spanish Influenza outbreak of the time.
One of the things I love about this book is that it is written like a tall tale. They are living through the time of legends. The time of Coyotes and Lions.
This book is full of beautiful imagery and symbolism. The family’s connection to the land is so exquisitely written, it is impossible to know if the family represents the land or the land represents the family. And I’m not even going to get into the bees and Simonopio, you’ll just have to read Murmur of Bees to see for yourself.
This book was originally published in Spanish, so I think it is important to acknowledge the translator. Books can so easily be lost in translation. Not only is the story cohesive and the language flawless, but it is lyrical and poetic. I will never know how this read in the original Spanish, but thanks to Simon Bruni, I was able to enjoy this book without ever feeling like I was reading a translation.
Murmur of Bees is historical fiction with magical realism. Fans of the Alchemist by Coelho will love the folklore feel of the story. Fans of the Good Earth will love the relationship between the family and the land. Anyone interested in Mexican History and culture will enjoy this book.
From a beguiling voice in Mexican fiction comes an astonishing novel—her first to be translated into English—about a mysterious child with the power to change a family’s history in a country on the verge of revolution.
From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can—visions of all that’s yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous. Followed by his protective swarm of bees and living to deliver his adoptive family from threats—both human and those of nature—Simonopio’s purpose in Linares will, in time, be divined.
Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, The Murmur of Bees captures both the fate of a country in flux and the destiny of one family that has put their love, faith, and future in the unbelievable.
For more Can't Wait Book Lists, No Spoiler Book Reviews and Articles from the Library Life, subscribe below!
Check back on Thursday for an Adult Summer Reading Club Book List!