Tag Archives: Aging

Review: Hour of the Bees

Hour of the Bees

Hour of the Bees
By Lindsay Eagar
Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763679224, March 2016, 368pp.

The Short of It:

A debut novel with a sweet story to tell.

The Rest of It:

I suppose this novel is considered Young Adult but the story really speaks to any age, young, old and anywhere in-between.

Carolina is like most teen girls, once summer hits, all she can think about is spending time with friends. This summer is a little bit different. She heads to New Mexico with her family to help her ailing grandfather transition into an assisted living facility.

The ranch has always been a part of the family, but the drought has caused the land to go to ruin, the animals to waste away and what was once a vibrant landscape, is now just a shriveled-up dust bowl. Grandpa Serge does not agree. Although battling dementia, he’s hanging onto the stories of his past, which include his deceased wife Rosa and the bees that literally took the rain away with them.

Carolina’s time at the ranch is short but from the stories Grandpa Serge tells and the curious bees that continue to circle her head, Carolina realizes the importance of family.

What a sweet story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. There is a little magical realism going on, which I tend to have a very low tolerance for, but here, it’s done well and with a very light hand. The author’s description of a land ravaged by drought is spot-on. This is the second book I’ve read dealing with drought and my poor Southern California self is really hoping this is not a trend but honestly, I didn’t mind too much.

If you like stories about family or ones where kids respect and even admire their elders, check this one out. Carolina is a sweet kid and her grandpa is quite the story teller. You’ll breeze through this one in a heartbeat.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Lost & Found

Lost & Found

Lost & Found
By Brooke Davis
Dutton Books, Paperback, 9780147517739, January 2016, 320pp.

The Short of It:

Quirky, touching, funny. Basically, everything you could want in a story.

The Rest of It:

Millie is just 7 years-old. After her father’s passing, Millie finds herself fascinated by dead things. One day, Millie’s mother leaves her under a rack of underwear at a department store with instructions to stay put. After a long night in the store and her mother nowhere to be found, Millie ends up at the coffee shop where she meets Karl, “the touch typist” who types out what he is saying as if he were typing it out on a keyboard.

Millie returns back home briefly, to see if her mother is there but when she returns to an empty house she goes looking for food and runs into Agatha, the cranky widow who lives across the street. Agatha has been closed off to the world ever since her husband died. She screams things at people and seems at odds with everyone she encounters, including Millie who shows up on her doorstep asking for food.

Karl, “the touch typist” is in his 80s and an odd companion to Millie but the two get to know one another and forge an unlikely friendship when he vows to help Millie find her mother. Having lost his own wife, Karl can relate to Millie’s sense of loss. And then Agatha, forcing herself to be brave, decides to head out into the world to assist Millie as well. Together, all three deal with their losses as they lean on one another for support.

What a wonderful story. I absolutely LOVED it! These three are so different from one another in personality but they all come together so well. I suppose their shared grief has something to do with that even though Millie is really too young to understand what is going on. Her youth and innocence is in stark contrast to what the other two have been through so their interactions although on the surface are humorous, usually hint at something much deeper.

This book is so many things to me! It was funny, and sad and also a little bit of an adventure. The characters are really interesting and I could relate to all of them and that’s such a rarity these days. I could go on and on but instead, I ask that you run out and get a copy right now because it’s just so good.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.