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The Keeper of the Bees  By  cover art

The Keeper of the Bees

By: Gene Stratton-Porter
Narrated by: Anne Hancock
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Publisher's Summary

Gene Stratton-Porter (A Girl of the Limberlost and Laddie) was a writer whose primary interest was the natural world. In The Keeper of the Bees, her last novel, she brought to vivid life the coastline, flora, and fauna of her adopted California.

Jamie MacFarlane has returned a hero from the Great War but with a stubborn chest wound. The government has sent him to their new thermal springs hospital in California "where it was hoped that the brilliant sunshine, the fruits, and the clean air, the eternal summer of a beneficent land" would heal him. But nothing has worked, and with his parents now deceased and no one to care for him, it seems the next step is a camp rife with tuberculosis. Realizing this, Jamie begins his great adventure on foot toward the ocean.

For miles, he encounters both sympathy and villainy, and just as his own strength is at its lowest ebb, he finds salvation when he encounters an elderly gentleman who's in worse shape than he is. Jamie agrees to take on the gentleman's work tending his bees, aided by his assistant, the precocious 10-year-old Little Scout.

The Pacific Ocean air, ripe fruits, and exercise are certainly beneficial, but it's not until Jamie begins to think beyond his own mortality that he truly begins to heal. His natural empathy, his work among the bees, new friendships, and a mysterious young woman may be the keys to a new life and his cure.

About the bees: Ever the naturalist, Stratton-Porter delivers, through Little Scout's child-like tutorial to Jamie, the clearest explanation ever written of the complicated society of these fascinating creatures.

Public Domain (P)2020 Anne Hancock

What listeners say about The Keeper of the Bees

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Looked forward to every listen!

Enjoyed this one on my walks. Fell in love with, "The Little Scout." Jaimie is the man you dream of - true, honest, and real. I felt like the character development for most of the characters was really strong. I loved all the descriptions of nature, I can picture the bee gardens by the ocean. I want to visit! I loved the part about Jaimie being, "The Keeper of the Bees" - not, "The Bee Master" because he knew so little. And how God made and loved the bees, and they are amazingly intricate little workers. Perfectly designed. Greta story that kept getting better and more interesting. I was a bit disappointed in what felt like a rush ending. It builds and builds, and then in one page you feel like it's all over and stamped happily ever after, for most people. I felt like the baby deserved a better ending too. But anyways, certainly one of my favourite of her books. Highly recommended. Loved the faith, love of nature and strength of character spoken of throughout the book. Full of conviction, but not annoyingly preachy. Great reader too. You'll enjoy it! ;)

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Sweet Story

Sweet fable from a bygone era. Reflects the same social ills still present but greatly exponentiated today. Enjoyed the story and appreciated Gene Stratton Porters passion for the environment and the human ability to overcoming life's difficulties and capacity for kindness.

1 person found this helpful

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Wholesome and Entertaining

I loved reading this book. After reading and Loving “Laddie” by this same author I was scared to try another of her books, simply because I didn’t want to be disappointed. But this was not a disappointment in the slightest. I loved every word! Fantastic story and so well written!

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Beautifully Vintage message tale

it's a story, that will, sadly seem too slow to most rushed modern ears. To many that would still listen to the 'all seeing' writing style, it will be morality play that's angering and offensive. To the hand full of us left, it's an honest, experience story of human things that were once valuable to understand: failure, loyalty, forgiveness, sacrifice and redemption. It's lovingly embroidered with word pictures that shows my magnificent home State as it once was.

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A Many Faceted Book

i love this book. It is hard to categorize. It is a combination of genres. -

Ms. Stratton-Porter's descriptions are like poetry. I normally get bored with description, but listening to her descriptions, especially of the gardens was almost like listening to music. They transport you to a beautul, tranquil place..

Of course, there is some technical information about bees. Much of this is in chapter 10. This was fascinating and presented in a way that it was truly part of the story and not just random facts.

The plot takes place at the end of WWI. Jamie McFarland is a wounded veteran for whom the doctors have little hope. He escapes the hospital and makes his way to California where he meets Little Scout and others who guide and inspire him. There are many twists and turns to his story, moving the plot along and definitely keeping the reader's interest.

The plot deals with the attitudes and values of post WWI America. However, it is not stuck there. Ms. Stratton-Porter was ahead of her time in many ways. Her views on the roles of women are far beyond her time.

There is almost no profanity, no gratuitous violence, and no steamy sex scenes, making for a relaxing and refreshing experience.







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Wholesome, delightful story!

Thoroughly enjoyed this story, through all the struggles & joys! I want to visit this house & the bee garden!

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A Sweet and Entertaining Story

I wish there was a sequel to this story! I didn’t want it to end. The characters were well developed and the story holds your attention. You can picture the California coast in the 1920’s. I loved that faith was included in the characters lives. The narrator was perfect for this story.

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Great book

Wonderful story. Such a surprise ending. Couldn't stop listening.
The narrator was very creative with a voice full of expression.

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wonderful book & Anne is my new favorite narrator!

My first Gene Stratton Porter read. This will be one I read again and again. Anne is also a lovely narrator. I wish she had more Porter books!

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One of my all time favorite books!

This is an amazingly well written book and the narrator captured the characters wonderfully.
I have read the book many times and was pleasantly surprised to finally see it on Audible.