By: Gene Stratton-Porter
Yep, that’s what my edition of The Keeper of the Bees looks like.
Did you catch how old this one is? Published in 1925. That’s 90 years ago.
I have no idea how I came to be in possession of this novel, but I’m glad I did. It’s a whopper – just over 500 pages.
And it’s kind of trope, spending an excessive amount of time glorifying the returned soldier and the feminine wiles of his love interest.
But it’s beautiful. It’s about a young man who stumbles into possession of a two-acre apiary (a fancy word for bee farm) on the coast of California. The apiary is home to a wonderfully described garden full of magnolias and cinnamon pinks and blue flowers of all kinds. I don’t care much for overlong descriptions because I have a very hard time imagining landscapes in my head. But Gene Stratton-Porter has a wonderful way of making the words just as beautiful as the setting.
And speaking of Stratton-Porter, have you ever heard of her? I hadn’t either. But apparently she’s a widely read and semi-prolific author from Indiana. Eight of her novels became movies, and the woman even owned her own film production company. Like, what. Tell me that’s not impressive!
This is a sweet novel. A heartwarming and comforting and beautiful novel. And it’s an easy read, not obscure like some more famous older books.
If you like bees, you’ll love it! If you like children, your heart will immediately fall in love with the Little Scout. If you like reading, this book will take you on an admittedly strange adventure through California of the 1920s, and trust me, you’ll enjoy it.
Oh, and this novel can make just about anyone fall in love with flowers.
Books similar to The Keeper of the Bees:
(for more books about bees)
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
(for more books about gardens and flowers)
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Where the Lilies Bloom by Vera and Bill Cleaver
(for more by Stratton-Porter)
The Harvester by Gene Stratton-Porter
A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter
A Daughter of the Land by Gene Stratton-Porter
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Friedman
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver