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Publisher's Summary

Gene Stratton-Porter (A Girl of the Limberlost and Laddie) was a writer whose primary interest was the natural world. In The Keeper of the Bees, her last novel, she brought to vivid life the coastline, flora, and fauna of her adopted California.

Jamie MacFarlane has returned a hero from the Great War but with a stubborn chest wound. The government has sent him to their new thermal springs hospital in California "where it was hoped that the brilliant sunshine, the fruits, and the clean air, the eternal summer of a beneficent land" would heal him. But nothing has worked, and with his parents now deceased and no one to care for him, it seems the next step is a camp rife with tuberculosis. Realizing this, Jamie begins his great adventure on foot toward the ocean.

For miles, he encounters both sympathy and villainy, and just as his own strength is at its lowest ebb, he finds salvation when he encounters an elderly gentleman who's in worse shape than he is. Jamie agrees to take on the gentleman's work tending his bees, aided by his assistant, the precocious 10-year-old Little Scout.

The Pacific Ocean air, ripe fruits, and exercise are certainly beneficial, but it's not until Jamie begins to think beyond his own mortality that he truly begins to heal. His natural empathy, his work among the bees, new friendships, and a mysterious young woman may be the keys to a new life and his cure.

About the bees: Ever the naturalist, Stratton-Porter delivers, through Little Scout's child-like tutorial to Jamie, the clearest explanation ever written of the complicated society of these fascinating creatures.

Public Domain (P)2020 Anne Hancock

What listeners say about The Keeper of the Bees

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Wholesome and Entertaining

I loved reading this book. After reading and Loving “Laddie” by this same author I was scared to try another of her books, simply because I didn’t want to be disappointed. But this was not a disappointment in the slightest. I loved every word! Fantastic story and so well written!

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Looked forward to every listen!

Enjoyed this one on my walks. Fell in love with, "The Little Scout." Jaimie is the man you dream of - true, honest, and real. I felt like the character development for most of the characters was really strong. I loved all the descriptions of nature, I can picture the bee gardens by the ocean. I want to visit! I loved the part about Jaimie being, "The Keeper of the Bees" - not, "The Bee Master" because he knew so little. And how God made and loved the bees, and they are amazingly intricate little workers. Perfectly designed. Greta story that kept getting better and more interesting. I was a bit disappointed in what felt like a rush ending. It builds and builds, and then in one page you feel like it's all over and stamped happily ever after, for most people. I felt like the baby deserved a better ending too. But anyways, certainly one of my favourite of her books. Highly recommended. Loved the faith, love of nature and strength of character spoken of throughout the book. Full of conviction, but not annoyingly preachy. Great reader too. You'll enjoy it! ;)

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Sweet Story

Sweet fable from a bygone era. Reflects the same social ills still present but greatly exponentiated today. Enjoyed the story and appreciated Gene Stratton Porters passion for the environment and the human ability to overcoming life's difficulties and capacity for kindness.