The Beekeeper’s Daughter

bee I was not familiar with this author prior to reading The Beekeeper’s Daughter but I will certainly try another of her publications after this story. What attracted me to this book was the description on Goodreads and the inside flap of the book:

“England, 1932: Grace Hamblin is growing up in a rural idyll. The beekeeper’s daughter, she knows her place and her future – that is until her father dies and leaves her alone. ”

The setting of rural Devon had me interested and I had hoped it wouldn’t be a flat-out romance. I don’t mind some love interest woven into stories but I’m not a big fan of the romance genre. However, stories set in the British Isles and Ireland attract my interest. This is a multigenerational story which flips between 1932 England in 1932, Massachusetts in 1973 and ending with Massachusetts in 1990.

The book starts in Massachusetts – it’s 1973 and Grace’s daughter Trixie (Beatrix) is tired of the small community life. She takes up with an aspiring English rock musician, Jasper Duncliffe, and plans to tour with his group across the USA. Straight off I have to say, I wasn’t invested in Trixie’s character at all. However, her mother Grace is an interesting character and I became fully absorbed with her backstory. That’s what kept me reading at first. Too much more about Trixie and I would have called it a loss, picked up another book.

Anyway, a family emergency arises for Jasper and he has an obligation to return to England but promises to send for Trixie. It becomes clear to Grace and Freddie which family Jasper is from, they both know their daughter will be forgotten. How do they know this family, you ask? Well it will be explained in Grace’s backstory.

When we start reading about Grace she is married to Freddie Valentine, living in Massachusetts, employed as a landscape designer and keeps bees. When her backstory starts she is only 14 years old and Freddie is her best friend. So you have certain spoilers right off such as knowing who she will marry and knowing her beloved father dies while she is still living in England.

The scenery and dialogue are very detailed and you have a feeling of viewing the countryside rather than reading about it. Great descriptive prose. If the research about beekeeping is correct then you will learn so very much about bees and how they are handled, winterized, how to collect honey and more. I personally enjoyed reading those passages. It flowed smoothly, it wasn’t a tutorial at all.

This book isn’t a romance but there is romance and family upheaval in the plot. There are betrayals, mysteries, sorrow and love.

The bees had a supporting role in this story so I choose to make a dish with honeyed chicken tenderloins.

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This is a light meal which may be prepared in under a half hour. A cold Rose went well with this meal.

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Linking up with The British Book Challenge and Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking Series.

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20 thoughts on “The Beekeeper’s Daughter

  1. Yum! Honeyed Chicken Tenderloins sound tasty. I haven’t read this one despite the fact that I have it but I loved her previous book (something about a lighthouse? I haven’t had enough coffee to remember the title). It was set in Ireland and the setting was beautifully done like it sounds like was done with this one. Can’t wait to read it!

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  2. I’m fascinated by both England and beekeeping. Adding this one to my list — thanks! Your chicken supper looks wonderful!

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  3. I think the book sounds great and that plate of food looks really, really good. Yum! I would read the book just to know more about beekeeping. I’m kind of fascinated with how the honey is retrieved and all the intricacies of bees. I don’t want to keep them myself, but love to hear about them. And then go eat something with honey. LOL

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    • Thank you, Claudia. I served roasted vegetables with feta cheese over couscous. I would suggest you try interlibrary loan for books but I don’t know if that works for you as you are on an island 😊

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  4. Pingback: The Girl in the Castle: Ireland, civil war, ghosts and drama! | Novel Meals

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