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Publisher's Summary

A national best seller!

A Good Morning America Buzz Pick | A Good Housekeeping Book Club Pick | IndieNext Pick | LibraryReads Pick | Recommended by People The Washington Post ∙ Woman's WorldNY Post ∙ BookRiot ∙ Bookish ∙ Christian Science Monitor Nerd Daily ∙ The Tempest ∙ Midwestness ∙ The Coil ∙ Read It Forward ∙ and more!

“An exquisite debut that combines a moving tale of friendship with a fascinating primer on bees.” (People)

“This heartwarming, uplifting story will make you want to call your own friends, not to mention grab some honey.” (Good Housekeeping)

Three lonely strangers in a rural Oregon town, each working through grief and life's curveballs, are brought together by happenstance on a local honeybee farm where they find surprising friendship, healing - and maybe even a second chance - just when they least expect it. 

Forty-four-year-old Alice Holtzman is stuck in a dead-end job, bereft of family, and now reeling from the unexpected death of her husband. Alice has begun having panic attacks whenever she thinks about how her life hasn't turned out the way she dreamed. Even the beloved honeybees she raises in her spare time aren't helping her feel better these days.

In the grip of a panic attack, she nearly collides with Jake - a troubled, paraplegic teenager with the tallest mohawk in Hood River County - while carrying 120,000 honeybees in the back of her pickup truck. Charmed by Jake's sincere interest in her bees and seeking to rescue him from his toxic home life, Alice surprises herself by inviting Jake to her farm. 

And then there's Harry, a 24-year-old with debilitating social anxiety who is desperate for work. When he applies to Alice's ad for part-time farm help, he's shocked to find himself hired. As an unexpected friendship blossoms among Alice, Jake, and Harry, a nefarious pesticide company moves to town, threatening the local honeybee population and illuminating deep-seated corruption in the community. The unlikely trio must unite for the sake of the bees - and in the process, they just might forge a new future for themselves.

Beautifully moving, warm, and uplifting, The Music of Bees is about the power of friendship, compassion in the face of loss, and finding the courage to start over (at any age) when things don't turn out the way you expect. 

“A hopeful, uplifting story about the power of chosen family and newfound home and beginning again...but it’s the bees, with all their wonder and intricacy and intrigue, that make this story sing.” (Laurie Frankel, New York Times best-selling author of This Is How It Always Is)

"Eileen Garvin's debut novel is uplifting, funny, bold, and inspirational. The Music of Bees sings!" (Adriana Trigiani, New York Times best-selling author)

©2020 Eileen Garvin (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“An exquisite debut that combines a moving tale of friendship with a fascinating primer on bees.” (People)  

“This heartwarming, uplifting story will make you want to call your own friends, not to mention grab some honey.” (Good Housekeeping)  

"A sweet story and a nice reminder that 'flaws' can actually be strengths.” (The Washington Post)

What listeners say about The Music of Bees

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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A little too many political agendas

I LOVE Therese Plummer and I’m pretty sure she’s the ONLY reason I finished this book. Though entertaining at times, I felt like it was lacking. The conservationist’s agenda was definitely clear, to the point that it ruined the story. And the riots... don’t even get me started on that.

3 people found this helpful

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Friendship and bees.

Loved it. Reminded me of my bee keeping days. Good characters.
Important message on the importance of friendships and bees.

2 people found this helpful

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A pleasure

Loved this book
Interesting I learned a lot about bees
Great characters
Couldn’t put it down

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story!

Absolutely amazing book! I can’t explain how beautiful the story was. I fell in love with all three main characters. Definitely worth listening to.

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  • SB
  • 05-06-21

Wonderful

This is an excellent story, well written and well narrated. I enjoyed learning about bees and loved the parallels between bee and human behavior. I couldn't help but root for the characters.

1 person found this helpful

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Don't miss this book !!!

This is the most wonderful uplifting experience I have had in quite a while. I highly recommend you experience it the same. A great story brought to life by very special narrator.

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Fifth Grade Level

Like a Hallmark soap opera happy ending book where all flawed characters turn around their life and get more then they ever expected. Every bad guy gets caught and Punished. It’s as if a publisher did marketing research and then hired a writer of children’s books and told author exactly what plot should be. Very formulated

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Fantastic !!!

Breaking sterotypes, full of hope, deals with pain honestly and skillfully. Well written, great character development.

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Not for me

Just okay. I thought this story was cliche and totally predictable. I really wanted to like it, but found it boring. It read like a cheesy YA novel. I probably should have returned it, but I stuck with it in hopes that the story would eventually touch me. It never really did.

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Honest and filled with purpose

I loved every bit of this book. The story was filled with emotion, immediately connecting the reader with the characters and plot. The struggles were relatable and the relationships were real and comforting. I appreciated the honesty of emotion and how the author worked through those emotions with the characters.

I also really enjoyed learning about honey bees and the connection between people and the environment. The author incorporated care of the environment into the story simply and naturally, as it would be in our own lives. It was a very positive approach.

In addition, I loved the wisdom shared throughout the story as the characters confronted struggles and grief, disappointments and failures. It was real and heart wrenching. Yet, in tragedy, they found purpose. This is a great observation and lesson.

I will add this book to my favorites list and recommend it to others. Thank you for such a great read!