The Murmur of Bees is the first novel of the Mexican author Sofía Segovia translated into another language. Thanks to the unexpected success of this book, I hope that her books will be published in many languages. It was a magical book that took me from London to a little village in Mexico. And I managed to embrace bees and orange flowers. If you love magical realism, you will fall in love with this book.
The novel tells the story of a family, and it also covers parts from the Mexican revolution and the Spanish flu. This landowning family, young and old, live together and earn money from their lands. Their land is so vast that the farmers who process them are almost part of their family. And one day, another unexpected person is added to this family; Simonopio. Abandoned under a bridge, this baby becomes an indispensable part of the Morales family, and he completely changes their destiny.
I’m in love with Simonopio
The only magical element in the book is Simonopio. However, the author created such an exquisite character that I was uncomfortable when I did not find his name on every page. I always wanted to read something about him, and I was never interested in other characters. As you can see, he captivated me. And I must say he quickly became one of my favourite characters.
Some scenes may be upsetting, but in general, the story is easy to read and immersive that you won’t be able to put it down. The end was exactly as I expected; more precisely, it made me happy.
And the translation was, to sum up, poetic. Dear Simon Bruni, congratulations! I cannot imagine how beautiful the book must be in Spanish!
Finally, I would like to thank dear Zimlicious; it would probably take a lot of time for me to hear about this if it weren’t for her. May your bees and honey be bountiful, my friend! 🙂
The Murmur of Bees
From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own.
As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can—visions of all that’s yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous. Followed by his protective swarm of bees and living to deliver his adoptive family from threats—both human and those of nature—Simonopio’s purpose in Linares will, in time, be divined.
Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, The Murmur of Bees captures both the fate of a country in flux and the destiny of one family that has put their love, faith, and future in the unbelievable.
Sofía Segovia was born in Monterrey, Mexico. She studied communications at Universidad de Monterrey, thinking mistakenly that she would be a journalist. But fiction is her first love. A creative writing teacher, she has also been a ghostwriter and communications director for local political campaigns and has written several plays for local theater. Her novels include Noche de huracán (Night of the Hurricane), El murmullo de las abejas (The Murmur of Bees)—which was called the literary discovery of the year by Penguin Random House and named Novel of the Year by iTunes—and Huracán. Sofía likes to travel the world, but she loves coming home to her husband, three children, two dogs, and cat. She writes her best surrounded and inspired by their joyous chaos.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: