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Staff Review: Telling the Bees


Telling the Bees
Peggy Hesketh
Oneworld Publications

Telling the Bees is a deceptively slow story of contrast and mystery, which builds and builds the suspense right up to the very end.

It starts with a double murder, and goes back decades to tell the story of the lives of two characters, a man and a woman, over a life time lived side-by-side in the bucolic, idyllic-seeming neighbourhood setting of two large back gardens in a small American town.

One garden houses the bees, nurtured and cossetted. The other house hides a darkness that is almost palpable from the street. The drama of life-long friendship, betrayal and final hideous violence is gradually played out in the tortured relationship that ebbs and flows between the narrator (the beekeeper’s son) and the eldest daughter of the house next door.

The business-like hives and swarms of the bees themselves play a wonderful, integral part of the narration with arcane beekeeping facts providing parallels to the mystery of why the two old women next door ultimately lie bound and gagged, dead.

I was really drawn in by the wonderful, lyrical feel of this book, and the enticing rhythm which serves as a mask over the gradual rock hard coldness of an engrossing story.

Fantastic – enjoy!

Find the book here, and buy at your local bookshop.

Staff Bio Carol Hammond photo

Carol Hammond
NSW Trade Territory Manager

Seriously, without books I think I would go mad. I belong to two (quietly disorganised) book clubs, and I read to a little child in foster care each week. Books are the bomb, man.

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