Albert Honig's most constant companions have always been his bees. A never-married octogenarian, he makes a modest living as a beekeeper, as his father and his father's father did before him. Deeply acquainted with the workings of the hives, Albert is less versed in the ways of people, especially his friend Claire, whose presence and absence in his life have never been reconciled.
When Claire is killed in a seemingly senseless accident during a burglary gone wrong, Albert is haunted by the loss, and by the secrets and silence that hovered between them for so long. As he pieces together the memories of their shared history, he will come to learn the painful truths about Claire's life, and the redemptive power of laying the past to rest.
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"Starred Review. Readers in search of a heartfelt, thought-provoking novel will find what they are looking for in this journey through the life of an unassuming apiarist who knows more about his reclusive neighbors than anyone could guess." - Library Journal
"A story of shared history, secrets of omission, and revisited memories, Telling the Bees is nostalgic and hauntingly poetic. Richly detailed and sparsely populated, Hesketh's debut novel relies on Albert's depth of narration and an enlightening amount of apiology. Reminiscent of the work of Karen Joy Fowler and Peter Orner, Telling the Bees reminds readers that even quiet hives are deceptively active." - Booklist
"Telling the Bees is a marvel. With infinite compassion and perfect pitch, Peggy Hesketh has written an American classic: the inadvertent examination of a life unlived, told by the 80-year-old beekeeper who didn't live it. It's a wonderful read for anyone who loves a great and unforgettable story told well." - Elizabeth George, New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley series
"What a wonderful novel! The voice is so masterfully done, the mysteries of life and death so compellingly evoked. But best of all is the way Telling the Bees reminds us that even the quietest life will still hold its full measure of drama and passion." - Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club
"Rich in detail, Hesketh has crafted a thoughtful, compelling story of loss and regret and the unforeseeable consequences that come when the truth is finally revealed. A wonderful read." - Gail Tsukiyama, author of A Hundred Flowers
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Peggy Hesketh's writing has appeared in Calliope and the Antietam Review, and her short story "A Madness of Two" was selected by Elizabeth George for inclusion in her anthology Two of the Deadliest. A longtime journalist, Hesketh teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of California, Irvine. This is her first novel.
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