"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

14 March 2017

2017 Book Review #9: The Beekeeper's Daughter

Well, here in the great northeast, most of us are in the midst of a ferocious blizzard to end the winter season, and since I have a snow day, I finished this wonderful story.

Although this book is not considered "Christian fiction", there are several references to God which I thoroughly enjoyed.


It is 1973 and Trixie is 19 years old and very pretty.  She is the only daughter of Freddie and Grace and they all live together on Tekanasset Island, off the coast of Cape Cod Massachusetts.  

Trixie works at one of the local pubs and is dating a boy named Jasper who is trying to start up a band with some friends.  They are from England and are here for the summer, hoping to tour the USA in the fall.  Trixie and Jasper are in love.

One afternoon, tragedy strikes and Jasper has to rush off and return to England.  He promises Trixie he will  come back for her and to please wait for him.

In England, in 1933, Grace is growing up on a beautiful, rural estate known as Walbridge Hall in the tiny town of Walbridge.  Grace's father, Arthur Hamblin, is the beekeeper for the Penselwood family, the very wealthy landowners who live in the big house.  Grace's mother died when she was just a baby and she has been raised by her father, his father's sister May and her husband Michael Valentine.  Their son Freddie is Grace's very good friend.  Freddie's older sister Josephine makes up the rest of the little family that Grace knows and loves.  However, Grace has a school-girl crush on the son of the Lord Penselwood.  His name is Rufus and he is engaged to be married to the Lady Georgina. This does not stop him from pursuing young Grace.

One day, Arthur dies suddenly of a heart attack, leaving Grace alone and very sad.  She has been close to her father and his bees her entire life.  She is all alone in the world now....and although she loves one man with her entire being, she knows she can never have him. It seems she is destined to marry Freddie and she does love and care for him....but her first love will always be Rufus.

Both Grace and Trixie are weighed down by memories in 1990 of the men they have loved and lost.  They each are unaware of the secrets that bind them together until Trixie discovers some very old letters written to and from her mother.  And then she decides to go over to England and confront the past.

Trixie finds Jasper.  And learns the truth about Rufus.

By doing so, she begins to unravel all the lies told long ago....and it is then that Grace and Trixie begin to open up their hearts to one another.



I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Yes, there were a couple of spots in the story, especially towards the end, where I said out loud "Oh how dorky" but that is because it just was too perfect.  But isn't that what fictional romance set in England is all about??  

Seriously, this story is absolutely delightful.

The main themes of course are love, family, friendships, the mother-daughter relationship, and first love.

What was very intriguing to me was the poem at the beginning of the novel.  It was just beautiful.

There were several quotes I enjoyed from this book but three of them I will share with you:

"Friendship is about being honest with each other and sharing your troubles as well as your triumphs. You can't get close to someone unless you open up and expose yourself a little." (pg.215, The BeeKeeper's Daughter by Santa Montefiore, c.2014)

"We have to let the past go and live in the moment; otherwise, we don't live, we just dream." ( pg. 335, The Beekeeper's Daughter by Santa Montefiore, c. 2014)

"I put it down to the power of prayer.  Miracles happen in our modern world to remind us that in spite of our technological advances, God is still mighty and all-powerful." (pg.375, The Beekeeper's Daughter by Santa Montefiore,c.2014)
One thing I really enjoyed about this story was the mother daughter relationship.  I think it's because my own relationship with my mom wasn't very emotionally bonding....she was a great mother/provider, but we just weren't close emotionally or spiritually speaking.  I so appreciated how Trixie and her mom could basically talk about anything and then of course the ending of the book drew them even closer.  I don't want to write any spoilers though.....

Another thing I loved were all the friendships, especially in reading about the various women on the island.  How funny some of them were!!  I especially liked the characters Big, and Belle.  Very endearing.

The title is wonderful in that, it can refer to either Grace, the daughter of the beekeeper Arthur, or Trixie, the daughter of the island beekeeper, Grace.  I just loved that!  Very clever of the author.

This author is new to me but I will definitely be checking out her other novels.

She did say the island is fictitious but she based it on the very real Nantucket Island.

In many ways, this story is like a modern day Jane Austen novel.  I loved it.  I love that Trixie believed in following her heart. And I especially loved that Grace and Freddie became close again in their marriage.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older (due to a little mature content).

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.

1 comment:

Susanne said...

This sounds good. Adding it to my list.